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Marble. Bronze. Responsibility.

Colloquium for Change at Lueger-Platz


Sunday, November 07, 2021, 10:15 to 21:30

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Foto: © Schandwache

A joint program between LICRA – Ligue internationale contre le racisme et l’antisémitisme en Autriche and mumok.

At the mumok Hofstallung

This colloquium will address the history of and possible future scenarios for the Lueger monument and  Lueger-Platz in Vienna’s 1st district.

Debates about this monument in honor of the former Vienna mayor Karl Lueger (term of office 1897–1910) predate the actual monument itself. The original plan to erect the monument at today’s Rathausplatz was controversial, and the plan was dropped. In 1926 the monument was then finally unveiled between Stubenring and Dominikanerbastei.

In the course of the protests after the murder of George Floyd, the Lueger Monument was marked in an intervention with the word “Schande” (shame). This act of writing on the monument led to a series of petitions, performative interventions, and leaders and opinion pieces throughout the past year. One of these actions was a call coordinated by LICRA and signed by fifty prominent persons from the sciences, arts and culture in Vienna, with the following wording: “The Karl Lueger Monument and Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Platz honor one of the nineteenth century’s most pronounced anti-Semites. This act of honoring Lueger is itself anti-Semitic and falsifies history. We therefore call for a transformation of the square and the monument that makes any form of honoring Lueger impossible.”
Since then it has been possible to clearly ascertain that this is not a “neutral monument” but a memorial that honors Lueger as a larger-than-life statue, his name decorated in gold, with reliefs and adorning statues that praise his deeds, and by the fact that the square bears his name.
The colloquium will be divided into six panels, in which the expertise of historians, researchers into right-wing extremism, art historians, activists, and artists are bundled – the aim is to establish a firm scholarly and academic basis for the current debate. The historical perspective will cast light on Lueger’s life and the iconography and ideology of the monument as well as on the history of opposition to the monument. Looking to the future, alternative monuments, approaches to public space, and the question as to whether removing the monument eradicates history – as is frequently heard in current debates – will all be discussed.


Note: The attentance to this event is only possible for persons vaccinated and/or cured from Covid-19 (in Austria commonly known as "2G"). We recommend that attendees to wear FFP2 face masks at all times, nevertheless. In the course of the prevention concept, personal contact data will be recorded upon entry. Please make sure to arrive on time to avoid delays. Use desinfects at the venue, wash your hands regularly and keep a safe distance to others.

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