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Quirky bus shelter closed ‘to prevent accidents’

An eccentric bus stop created by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto in Krumbach, Austria, has been unexpectedly closed to the public because it doesn't "follow the Austrian regulations for building safety".

Quirky bus shelter closed 'to prevent accidents'
Sou Fujimoto's design was deemed unsafe. Photo: Adolf Bereuter/BUS:STOP Krumbach

Bränden bus stop, one of seven architect-designed shelters in the tiny Vorarlberg village, is made of a cluster of slender steel rods that support a winding wooden staircase and balcony.

But a small chain barrier now blocks access to the stairs, with a sign that reads "This is a work of art. Do not enter."

Sou Fujimoto designed the structure as part of the Kultur Krumbach initiative.

Curated by Dietmar Steiner, director of Vienna architecture museum Architekturzentrum Wien, the project was developed to promote tourism in the picturesque Bregenzerwald district.

According to Steiner, the new safety warning is just a precaution and can be ignored.

"It's about the liability for possible accidents. The village cannot take over the responsibility for this because the construction – the stairs and the railings – do not follow the Austrian regulations for building safety," he said.

He added that people have continued to climb up the stairs, ignoring the sign, and that the construction is stable enough that this is safe.

"That's also a typical Austrian tradition – we have rules and regulations, but we don’t always follow them," he added. 

GALLERY: World architects design bus shelters

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ART

London Tube gets covered-up versions of Schiele nudes after it deems the originals too racy

As the art world plans to celebrate the centenary of Austrian expressionist painter Egon Schiele's death, some of his nudes have been dubbed too racy to show in their full glory, not least in the London underground.

London Tube gets covered-up versions of Schiele nudes after it deems the originals too racy
Photo: Christian Lendl/Vienna Tourist Board/AFP
Austrian museums will next year host a series of exhibitions and events to mark the centenary of his passing but time has apparently not dimmed some of the prudish attitudes prevalent in his lifetime regarding his rawest works, Vienna Tourist Board director Norbert Kettner told AFP.
   
Two of his works — “Seated Male Nude (Self-Portrait),” from 1910, and his 1914 work “Girl With Orange Stockings,” appear with their genitals covered over after Transport for London found the uncensored originals beyond the pale.
 
Advertising hoardings in Germany have similarly covered the offending parts, even though the works were deliberately selected as “we wanted to raise a discussion and the theme of nudity seemed pertinent,” Kettner told AFP.
 
“The campaign was ready but when we came up with the first visuals we had several reactions of 'that won't do; regulations won't allow us to show genitalia,'” he explained after the London Tube and a German airport both complained.
 
“We had the green light for a very large format and, the day before they went up, agreement was withdrawn as an ethics committee felt (full nude versions) wouldn't be acceptable for an airport public” or patrons of London's underground trains.
 
The Viennese tourist office quickly revamped the pictures, covering up the offending organs and adding on the blotted out section the slogan, “SORRY, 100 years old but still too daring today.”
 
They have also added the hashtag #ToArtItsFreedom in London – a play on the “To every age its art. To every art its freedom” inscribed on the entrance of the Vienna Secession building housing the union of Austrian artists movement.
 
Kettner revealed that a Viennese display did not share the artistic-sexual qualms of the British or the Germans and had approved a “non-censored” version.
 
The prolific Schiele, born in 1890 and who died of Spanish flu aged 28, was not always popular in his homeland where some, notably in conservative circles, took a dim view of his vision of tortured eroticism.
 
Nonetheless, a retrospective of his work will see a number of exhibitions highlight his talents as well as those of his first mentor and Secession co-founder Gustav Klimt.