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Austria – Vice-Mayor of Linz wants casino installed at Lentos Art Museum

By - 9 July 2020

The Vice-Mayor of Linz Markus Hein (FPÖ) wants to see a casino installed in the Lentos Art Museum on the Danube River to help fund its survival in the current-corona climate.

Kunstmuseum Linz is considered one of the most important museums of modern and contemporary art in Austria but it has struggled for funding since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic with its main financier pulling the plug, leaving the city to finance the €3m in needs to survive.

Mr. Hein says the museum only serves marginalised groups and that a casino there would be a ‘real tourist attraction.’

“A casino location would offer itself at this attractive location and would also be a real tourist attraction right on the Danube,” he said. “I am sticking to the idea of a sustainable and economical conversion of the Lentos. The museum is not profitable and the costs for a balanced budget is borne by the public sector. It also seems likely that the existing casino at Schillerpark will have to move out sooner or later. We would have finally found another offer for cruise ship tourism. Adhering to the current, very expensive cultural program for marginalised groups is a step in the wrong direction for a financially troubled city like Linz.”

However, VP of Culture City Councilor Doris Lang-Mayerhofer said: “I think it’s completely absurd. We are a city with 208,000 inhabitants, a cultural city. Even if we cannot compete with Vienna, we have a great, attractive offer. The lockdown showed how systemically relevant art and culture are for our economy.”

Patrick Minar, Head of Corporate Communications at Casinos Austria, said in the Austrian press: “So far there have been no discussions with us as the concessionaire.”

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