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Police to patrol cancelled 'pick-up artist' event

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Photo: Hertha Hurnaus
08:55 CET+01:00
Police say they will be patrolling the area in Vienna where a controversial pick-up artist event had been due to take place this Saturday.

The event in MuseumsQuartier had been part of a worldwide meeting of supporters of American 'pick-up-artist' Daryush Valizadeh, 36, who called it off after being widely condemned for his article calling for the legalisation of rape on private property.

Over 160 cities had been part of the event due to take place at 8pm this Saturday, including Vienna and Graz.

Outrage over rape comments

Valizadeh is known for his work as a 'pick-up artist', which involves teaching men how to act in a more masculine way in order to date and sleep with women.

He has been heavily criticised after writing an article last year where he proposed to 'make rape legal on private property' so 'a girl will protect her body in the same manner that she protects her purse and smartphone'.

He has since said this article was written satirically and has been taken out of context and misrepresented by the media.

Valizadeh has now cancelled the global meet up, saying he could no longer guarantee the safety of participants, although he said he could not prevent people from meeting privately.

Police on standby

Police in Vienna say they are investigating whether there are any criminal elements to the meeting and that they would be in the area around MuseumsQuartier where it had been due to take place on Saturday night.

“I can assure you that the matter is being taken very seriously,” said Patrick Maierhofer from the Vienna Police.

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Spokesperson for the MuseumsQuartier, Irene Preissler, has also said that they would not allow the event to take place on that site.

“We have contacted the event organisers directly and prohibited the meet-up from taking place on these premises,” she said.

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