There are just some things in life that are striking to us humans. Most people are intrigued by the idea of an abandoned place, because it is not normal.
The strange and uncommon accounts of people just abandoning structures and places is weird to the average person, because people tend to take care of their possessions.
Every once in a while, a home or public building gets abandoned because of unexpected life changes.
How do they know the paintings are about the area they were painted in and not something they transposed from other artwork and even writing? They assume that.