Charlotte Jakoubek und Monika Bacher have run the fashion boutique “modus vivendi” out of the bottom floor of a heritage building in one of Vienna's famous shopping districts since 1988. When they unlocked their store over the weekend, they found that the floor had vanished. “They even took out the metal crossbeams. All the clothes – all one-off pieces – are ruined. There is dust everywhere.”
According to the new owner of the property, Markus Handle, whose plastic surgery practice is also in the building, “the floor has a fungal infestation. We have it from municipal authorities that something needs to be done here.”
Handle has stated that there was no malicious intent in the move to start renovations. “This has to do with a building protected by national heritage that is in the process of restoration.” The renters have allegedly also been offered more than one opportunity to relocate the shop ahead of construction, all of which they refused.
But according to Jakoubek, the gesture speaks for itself: “the new tenant wants us out.” The issue began about a month ago, when the two suddenly found a hole in the floor. “We didn't let it affect us and simply covered it with wood panels.” However, the hole kept getting bigger and bigger, until the entire first storey was eventually removed from when the left on Friday to when they returned Saturday morning.
This Thursday Jakoubek and Bacher will hold a get-together in solidarity with the struggle to save the shop they have run for almost 30 years.