Wurst receives statuette from Mayor

In recognition not only of her message, but also of her courage and endurance in the face of hostile and negative reactions, Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl presented Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst with the Vienna Golden Town Hall man statuette on Wednesday afternoon.

Wurst receives statuette from Mayor

Wurst was pleased with her award, taking the opportunity to declare her loyalty to her adopted city.

"I'll definitely stay here," said the flamboyant singer, who has called Vienna home for many years already. "From day one Vienna welcomed me with an open heart. It pulses with people who live for creativity."

In recent times Wurst has had the pleasure of seeing much of the world, but "Vienna is yet to be beaten."

The miniature Town Hall Man has already been presented to Elton John, Udo Jürgens and Pele among others.

"I'm really not a music specialist, but I admire the message of tolerance, cooperation and respect," said Häupl.

"The various, occasionally negative reactions to Conchita's Song Contest win have indeed shown that these matters still definitely need to be discussed in Austria," said the mayor. "Thank you for having courage."

Numerous media representatives vied for interviews with the Song Contest winner, however spectators and fans were not admitted.

"I could not have wished for anyone better than the Mayor," Wurst told the Austrian Press Agency.

As an artist, Conchita was especially pleased her message is being heard, taken seriously and understood.

"It's great to know people who can do even more than I are on my side," she said.

As a sign of support, Wurst received not only the small golden statuette, but also a bouquet and congratulations from Vice Mayor Renate Brauner (SPÖ), Maria Vassilakou (Greens) and Councillor Sandra Frauenberger (SPÖ).

The singer also renewed her request to moderate the Green Room, the area where artists wait before and after their performances.

"I would be glad to do this," she said. "I know myself how it is when you sit there and wait until it's over. You need to be able to relax a little."

Among other things, Wurst is currently focused on an upcoming visit to the European Parliament, where she will give a speech and sing.

On Friday Conchita will open Vienna's Trachtenpärchen Ball with her anthem "Rise Like A Phoenix".

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Former refugee in Miss Universe contest

A young Austrian woman with a refugee background will on Sunday represent her adopted country in the Miss Universe contest in Las Vegas.

Former refugee in Miss Universe contest
Photo: Miss Universe

While not the bookies' favourite, Amina Dagi has captured global attention with her witty and elegant rendition of Austria's national costume, transforming herself with makeup into the famous Austrian diva and winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, Conchita Wurst.

Austrian contestant Amina Dagi.  Photo: Miss Universe

The fabulous outfit is by talented Swedish designer Aviad Arik Herman, who said that he was inspired to create the design because “The meaningful costume brings the urgent message, and stands for #courage#tolerance#acceptance#equality & being #unstoppable!”

Dagestan refugee

Dagi grew up in Dagestan (North Caucasus, Russia.) At the age of eight, Amina's family had to leave her hometown due to severe political issues. With nothing but a backpack, they fled to Austria, starting a new life in a completely different culture.

She picked up the German language and new hobbies very quickly, winning the state judo championship in 2006.

When she was crowned Miss Universe Austria, she used the attention of the local media to support an orphanage as well as various other charity projects. As an ambassador for integration, Amina wants to convey the message of tolerance.

Dagi was chosen as a replacement for the former Miss Universe Austria, Annika Grill, who was selected to compete in the Miss World contest.  She attracted some controversy after getting a nose job.

As the face of ZUSAMMEN:ÖSTERREICH, Austria's nationwide refugee campaign, she aims at encouraging people to always remain hopeful.