Vienna rejects calls to remove the statue of Karl Lueger the former mayor of the city. His populist political views were believed to be inspiring Adolf Hitler. However, the current mayor is in favor of the art of contextualization.
According to the Vienna government, a 2-year program was launched on Sunday to restore contextualization of the statue of Karl Lueger. It remains to be determined how the statuary will respond to the contextualization. A consultation and tender are still underway.
The decision to retain the statue of Lueger, who controlled the Austrian capital from 1897 to 1910, followed discussions with various city stakeholders about how to deal with the mayor’s controversial legacy.
Current Mayor Michael Ludwig expects the project won’t be concluded until 2023, noting that a tender will be launched for the statue’s future appearance. The prize for the winner project, he said, will go to a “top-class”Jury. The project has not been budgeted and it’s unclear if the tender will only be for those who have been invited.
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Labeled the ‘king of Vienna’, Lueger rallied people against Jews, describing them as the “people who murdered God”And “expropriators of the native population.” Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who spent three years in the Austrian capital while Lueger was in charge, described the mayor as “the most terrific German mayor of all time” in his autobiographical manifesto ‘Mein Kampf’.
The notoriously conservative central European nation has long struggled to deal with Lueger’s legacy. Despite renaming one of its most prominent streets – formerly called Karl Lueger Ring – in 2012, a church, a square, a bridge, three plaques, and the 13ft statue still remain in his honor.
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