A hologram of a prostitute beckons tourists into the Red Light Secrets Museum in Amsterdam. (AP Photo/Evert Elzinga)
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On any given evening, thousands of tourists stroll down the narrow canal-side streets of Amsterdam's famed Red Light District, gawking at ladies in lingerie who work behind windows, making a living selling sex for money.Organizer Melcher de Wind says the Red Light Secrets Museum is for those who want to learn more about how the area works without actually visiting a prostitute. Visitors enter the museum by passing a hologram of a beckoning prostitute. Then the displays attempt to place prostitutes as part of society. Prostitutes rent windows on a half-day basis and can work shifts that are 11 hours long, six days a week. The museum makes only a passing attempt to document the history of prostitution in Amsterdam – starting from the 16th century, when it was a port city flush with wealth from the spice trade and authorities turned a blind eye when sailors went ashore looking for women.The museum focuses on the era since 2000, when prostitution became legal in the Netherlands. The legal age to work as a prostitute in Amsterdam has recently been raised from 18 to 21 .At the end of the museum, there's a wall of quotes from prostitutes.
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