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Golden Leaves Stolen from the Dome of Vienna’s Secession Building

Half a dozen gilded leaves from the famous dome of Vienna’s iconic Secession building have been stolen, the Local Austria reports. The burglars struck during the night on Monday, April 23.

Designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich, the Art Nouveau building is currently undergoing its first restoration in more than three decades. The $4 million project, led by architect Adolf Krischanitz, was on schedule to be completed this August. The Federal Chancellery and the city of Vienna each contributed $1 million to the renovation, which included upgrades to the landmark’s roof and facade, improvements to the gallery housing Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze, and the installation of new air-conditioning, heating, and fire control systems.

According to the authorities, the culprits used the scaffolding that was erected around the building to access the dome of interwoven laurel branches, which comprise 2,500 leaves and 311 berries. Endearingly dubbed “cabbage head” by the Viennese, the dome was in the process of being reassembled. About twenty-three inches long, each leaf is valued at $1,200. Secession spokeswoman Karin Jaschke told the Associated Foreign Press that, after the theft, security measures will be tightened.

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