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Austria to have new 'House of History'

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The Hofburg. Photo: APA/Neubauer
11:56 CET+01:00
Austria is planning to open a new museum which will cast a critical eye on the country's history and journey to democracy. It will be located on Vienna's Heldenplatz, in the Hofburg Palace.

The so-called ‘House of History’ has been discussed for two decades and should open in 2018 - 100 years after the end of World War One and the disintegration of Austria-Hungary.

Historian Oliver Rathkolb, head of the scientific advisory board behind the museum, told the Austrian Press Agency that it would not be a “virtuous national museum” but would examine the darker aspects of Austria’s history as well, beginning with the attempted revolutions of 1848 and looking at the long road to democracy.

The museum will also aim to present the history of migration in Austria, drawing comparisons between 19th century and modern day Vienna, and will avoid being coloured by any “political theory”, Rathkolb said.

Rathkolb added that the 100th anniversary was “key” as 1918 was the beginning of Austria’s first democratic and republican phase, before it was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938.

The new museum will be run by the National Library and State Archives and will be located on the first floor of the Hofburg with around 3,000 square metres of exhibition space.

Hitler announced the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany from the Hofburg, to a huge crowd gathered on the Heldenplatz.

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