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In addition to New London's readily apparent maritime heritage, the arts have blossomed into quite the walkable artists' enclave nourished in large part by Hygienic Art gallery on Bank Street. It all started in 1979 when New London’s art community decided to model an art festival after the "Salon Des Independents," Paris' late 19th century art movement protesting aristocratic sensibilities by exhibiting their works in cafes located in the 'seamy' areas of the city. Now permanently housed in what was once a whaling company's provisioning store and crews' quarters, and then the town's only 24-hour eatery (1919-1996), it was saved from the wrecking ball by being listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Besides the Hygienic's outdoor sculpture garden and daring exhibits within, you'll discover murals painted by local artists on seemingly every building you look at, especially on Eugene O’Neill Drive and Green Street.