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Vienna’s Essl Museum to Close as Austrian Government Declines to Provide Financial Support

The Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg, near Vienna, will close on July 1, after the Austrian government refused to contribute to its operating costs, reports ||Monopol|.

For the past seventeen years, the Essl family, the museum’s founders, financed its construction, exhibition, and operating costs themselves. “Sadly, this won’t be possible any longer,“ said Karlheinz Essl; who also stated that the Essl Collection, of some seven thousand works of art, mainly from the Austrian postwar period, will be unaffected by the museum’s closure, and the building will continue to serve as their depot.

As previously reported, the museum has been under threat since 2014, as the Essl family’s company, Baumax, a chain of DIY stores, suffered financial difficulties in the Balkan region. As a result, industrialist Hans Peter Haselsteiner—with Karlheinz Essl himself—purchased the Essl Foundation’s art collection for over $100 million and placed it into a new joint LLC.