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What would the much-photographed statues of central Vienna say to us, if they came to life for one day? We will find out, with a special tour of the pomp and celebrity of Imperial Vienna.
This is experimental theatre, but also a window into the city’s history. Ten tour guides will dress up as – and stand in front of – these elegant but cold monuments, and speak in the language of those days.
What is the relevance of these key figures for Vienna today? With a general election approaching, what has changed since their days, and what remains all too familiar to Habsburg-era celebrities? Why do so many Viennese seem more interested in their past than the present? Have we misunderstood some of these historical figures? We want to see our city from a new perspective, and find out what we can learn from them.
The tour will take a light approach to the subject, and find out what it is like being a statue on Heldenplatz or in front of the Art History Museum. How do they cope with the selfie-taking tourists, the pigeons, the weather and street musicians playing the same songs over and over? What will shock them when they awaken from their long, stone-cold slumber, and see our new world? And what do they think of each other?
And a wider question will be explored: Why do we only have statues of older musicians and politicians? Don’t we need heroes in our time also?
Which famous people you will be meeting remains a secret, but we can tell you they are in Volksgarten, Heldenplatz, Burggarten, on the Ring, and on Theresienplatz.
On 14 October, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce Leisure & Sport Dept, in partnership with space and place and Austria Guides, will offer free tours, in German and English, to play with our past, and bring it up to date. We invite the Viennese to experience their city in a new way, and visitors will have the chance to try out a unique adventure.