Inner West Whispers – 219

The Italian Forum Cultural Centre (IFL) has gone into voluntary administration. SV Partners (the administrators) will be looking at Italian organisations to takeover the management of the organisation. Known as “The Black Hole” and “Leichhardt’s Cancer” the Italian Forum Cultural Centre is said to have been one of the major contributors to Norton Street’s rapid decline. Poor cash flow is said to be a major hurdle for the organisation, but those who know it well, know that the IFL is only part of a dysfunctional quagmire of quarrelling body corporates and restaurant owners. IFL creditors include the ATO (around $69K) and another $1.3 million to secured creditors. Unless the administrators can secure a patron like Cate Blanchett to resuscitate the venue, there is little hope for the place. Perhaps they could try and turn it into a church, at least then the fabulous acoustics would be put to good use. Hillsong anyone?

The centre was also meant to have hosted the controversial 101 Vagina exhibition as part of the Sydney Fringe Arts Forum. But after previously agreeing to host the exhibit as is, apparently organisers decided it was not suitable for a family friendly venue and wanted it censored. You can now view the censored exhibit from 2pm to 6pm until September 28th.

• Speaking of vaginas, one upset local graffitied Leichhardt Town Hall with the phrase “Thanks for the fine c***s” recently. Although you would never know it was there as council removed the offending phrase in record time – presumably so it didn’t catch the eyes of kids at nearby Leichhardt Public School.

Long time local retailer Rouge on Norton has finally closed its doors. Citing high rents and parking as the main problems for small business, Rouge on Norton will become an online retail store only. Locals Albere and Wafa were Norton Street icons and will be missed.

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