Entries in Austria (10)


Nudes Tour Naked Men Exhibit at Vienna Museum

ALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images(VIENNA, Austria) -- What better way to appreciate naked men than getting naked yourself?

That’s how more then 60 art lovers decided to experience the "Nude Men From 1800 to the Present Day” exhibit at the Leopold museum in Vienna, Austria, on Monday.

Museum-goers ditched everything but their socks and shoes as they took in a special after-hours showing of the exhibit, which started last October and features 300 works of art that center on naked men. A clothed tour guide showed the mostly male group through the museum.

The exhibit runs through March 4 and has already drawn more than 100,000 visitors.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Turks Say Star Wars LEGO Set Is Racist

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Turkish Cultural Community of Austria has assembled an angry missive against LEGO, claiming the company's playset based on Jabba the Hutt's palace from Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi is racist and insulting to Islam.

The group says the building kit doesn't so much represent the domicile of the intergalactic, slug-bodied gangster as seen in the movie as much as it apes Istanbul’s great Hagia Sophia, and another mosque in Beirut.

According to The Telegraph, the group claimed on its website, "The terrorist Jabba the Hutt likes to smoke a hookah and have his victims killed...It is clear that the ugly figure of Jabba and the whole scene smacks of racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against Asians and Orientals as people with deceitful and criminal personalities..."

LEGO insists the playset, with its watchtower and Jabba's domed palace, was designed only to reflect how the structure looked in Jedi.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Head-On Train Collision in Austria Leaves Dozens Injured

DIETER NAGL/AFP/Getty Images(VIENNA) -- Dozens of people were injured after two commuter trains collided in Austria Monday morning.

The trains hit each other head-on during rush hour in a suburb of Vienna.  Rescue workers had to cut passengers out of the wreckage, the BBC reports.

At least 20 people were injured, five seriously, according to the BBC.

It's not yet clear what caused the crash or why the trains were traveling on the same track.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Teeth Thief Hits Graves of Great Composers in Austria

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(VIENNA) -- Dentures of two of the world's most famous composers have allegedly been stolen from their graves by a Slovak man who boasts of his crimes on YouTube saying he intends to use the purloined choppers to start a museum.

Ondrej Jajcaj, the self confessed thief, says the teeth he extracted from the tombs of the famous 19th century composers Johann Strauss and Johannes Brahms will be part of an exhibition of hundreds of objects plundered from more ordinary graves.

The man was identified in Austrian media reports simply by his initials, O.J.  But a search on the Internet reveals Ondrej Jajcaj, who calls himself the Freedom Undertaker, taking his Internet viewers on a tour of "graves of honor" in the Viennese Central Cemetery, saying that someone has opened the crypts, pointing out fresh dirt uncovered around the tombs.

In one video, Jajcaj gives a tour of his macabre collection of stolen teeth and at one point narrates: "And now, we come to the major pedestal.  On the top are the teeth of Johann Strauss Jr.  To the left there are dentures of his wife Adele Strauss.  To the right, we have rubber prosthesis of Johannes Brahms.  Here, I, as an amateur have managed to build illegal historical collection of dental works."

In 2008, cemetery officials reported that some graves had been tampered with.  As a result, Jajcaj was investigated by Vienna prosecutors for "disturbing the peace of the dead," but they dropped the case because the statute of limitations had run out.

Austrian police again learned of the dastardly dental work when the alleged grave robber released videos bragging about his thefts.

Austrian cops started an investigation in May and they found the claims on the video were true -- the famous musicians' teeth had been removed.

The thief could be facing from six months up to 10 years of prison, claims Thomas Vecsey of the Vienna state prosecutor's office.

"We hope we can charge him with burglary, disturbing the peace of the dead and other related crimes," he told ABC News.  "But the fact that he is not Austrian and does not reside in Austria, complicates things."

He also said that the thefts took place in 2002, which may make them too old to prosecute.

The Federal Criminal Police Office, the Austrian equivalent of the FBI, is checking other graves in the cemetery of such great Viennese composers as Ludwig von Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Arnold Schoenberg.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obese Dead Woman’s Body Fat Causes Crematorium Blaze

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Investigators say a fire that nearly destroyed an Austrian crematorium began when the excessive body fat of an obese dead woman clogged the facility’s air filters, causing overheating that resulted in the blaze.

Officials determined that the fire, which occurred mid-April at a crematorium in the city of Graz, was caused by the burning corpse of the 440-pound woman.  The body was being cremated when the blaze began, the Daily Mail reported.

Firefighters who were combating the blaze had their protective clothing covered in a layer of greasy soot, the newspaper also said.

“Crematorium officials need to be more responsible and not just automatically put everybody in to be cremated,” Graz-based fireman Otto Widetschek said, according to the paper.

Similar fires caused by the cremation of obese bodies have been reported in Switzerland. That country apparently has special extra-large facilities to handle the cremation of obese bodies, Widetschek said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Austrian Town Seeking to Change Naughty Name

MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Some one hundred residents of a picturesque town in Austria are sick of the ribbing their town is getting from visiting tourists and prank callers a world away. The name of the town starts with an "F," and ends with an "ing." It rhymes with Bucking, reports the UK Sun.

From American soldiers stationed in Germany who take the cross-border ride just for pictures in front of the bold white and black sign reading "Fu**ing," to constant thefts of said signs, and nude tourist photo ops near it, the mayor and the other townsfolk have had enough.

Mayor Franz Meindl tells the paper, "The phone calls are really the final straw. I always wanted the name to stay but it’s just got too much now," before adding without irony, "The only problem is that we need all of the F***ing residents to agree to the name change."

A town meeting next week will address just this. Top options for a new name include "Fuking" or "Fugging."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sex University Promises ‘Hands On’ Education

Sex University Promises ‘Hands On’ Education(VIENNA) -- A former erotic television show host and artist has opened a sex university in Austria that promises to give students a “hands-on education."

Five teachers from varying backgrounds and 70 students will saddle up at the Austrian International School of Sex’s campus in January for classes such as “Sexual Techniques” and “Advanced Intercourse."

“You have trained your mind, your muscles, your fitness, but how much have you spent developing your skills at what really matters … love?” the school’s website asks.

Melodi Kirsch, a spokesperson for the school, told ABC News it was having trouble taming the insatiable demand of prospective students and teachers and even had to turn some away.

“We get emails from 50 people a day who want to teach sex,” said Kirsch, who refused to disclose the school’s location so as not to attract media attention. “They just want to share their knowledge and share the love and not be Uncle Scrooge.”

While there is a significant age gap between the students, who Kirsch said skewed on one end of the spectrum or the other, she did say the majority of pupils are male.

“Maybe young guys feel insecure,” she said.

An annex-style dormitory that can house 20 students will provide plenty of opportunities for students to practice what they’ve learned.

And yes, Kirsch said there will be homework.

“We need bodies to experience the feelings that come from love and sex,” she said.

The school said it plans to expand in the future to accommodate the public’s desire.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Airline Makes Stranded Passengers Pay for Fuel

Comstock/iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(BIRMINGHAM, England) -- The Austrian airline that passengers say grounded their flight and forced them to pay for fuel in order to continue their trip from India to England says it will investigate the claims and repay the money.

“I have heard what happened. It shouldn’t have happened, and I will investigate why it happened,” Bhunpinder Kandra, director of passenger services for Comtel Air, told the Press Association. “The people who had to pay the money will receive a refund.”

The 16-year-old airline has also cancelled all of this weekend’s flights in and out of Britain.

The airline is in damage control mode following an incident last weekend in which 180 passengers aboard a Comtel flight from Amritsar, India to Birmingham, England were “held to ransom” for six hours on the tarmac in Vienna, Austria, after the chartered flight stopped there to refuel.

Passengers told the Birmingham Mail they were told to disembark in Austria because the airline “ran out of cash to fund the last leg of the trip.”

When the passengers, each of whom had paid on average $800 for their ticket, refused to either leave the plane or pay the $31,500 for fuel demanded by the crew, a six-hour standoff ensued.

The passengers grew so angry with Comtel during the standoff that Austrian police had to be called.  They were eventually led under security escort to cash machines where they pooled together enough money to get the flight back in the air.

Konrad Bhupinder, managing director of Comtel Air, earlier told the Press Association that Skyjet, which reserved the flight tickets, is responsible for the problem because the company had not paid Comtel for the flights.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Austrian Swimmer Nearly Buried Alive in Sand Pit

Thinkstock Images/Getty Images(POMPANO BEACH, Fla.) -- To Austrian national swim team member Jakub Maly, it seemed like a good idea at the time: spend the day on Pompano Beach digging a huge pit, and then jump into it.

Turns out, sand pits 7-feet deep and 6-feet wide -- big enough to gobble up a Volkswagen -- are not that stable. The pit collapsed on the 19-year-old, covering him entirely. Friends scrambled towards him, frantically trying uncover his head.

They managed to get Maly's head above sand, and called for help. Maly had done such a thorough job excavating the hole, however, that it took a team of 60 rescuers two hours to extract him.

"It was the perfect hole, until he decided to jump into if for fun. Then the walls caved in on him," said Sandra King of Pompano Beach Fire Rescue.

Rescuers had to buttress the collapsing sand by building makeshift walls in the pit.

"I started breathing, just to get enough oxygen," said Maly. "I just thought, oh my God, what do I have to do now?" Did he think he was going to die? "Maybe after the first hour or so," said the Austrian.
King said Maly was in danger of being crushed by the pressure from the sand.

Maly was freed long after dark and carted off to a hospital and released in less time than it took rescuers to dig him out of his hole. The swimmer is fine and flew with the rest of his team back to Austria.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Teens Party in Austrian Incest Dungeon

Photo Handout by APA via Getty Images(AMSTETTEN, Austria) -- The underground dungeon where Josef Fritzl kept his daughter an imprisoned sex slave for decades will be permanently sealed by Austrian officials after teenagers began using the lair for illicit parties.

Broken liquor bottles and drug paraphernalia left by the partying teens are scattered among the soiled mattresses and old computers Fritzl, the convicted murderer and rapist, left behind in the maze of rooms underneath his home in the Austrian town of Amstetten, outside Vienna.

For 24 years, the subterranean dungeon housed Fritzl's daughter, Elisabeth, and the six children she had by him. Elisabeth gave birth to a seventh child who did not survive. Fritzl was charged with the baby's death after authorities discovered the cellar in 2008.

All the while, Elisabeth's mother, Rosemarie, lived upstairs in the home she shared with Fritzl, unaware that her daughter was imprisoned in the basement.

After Fritzl's arrest, trespassing partygoers accessed the basement through an unlocked garage door, according to the Daily Mail.

Fritzl, 75, pleaded guilty to charges of rape, enslavement and negligent homicide. He is currently serving a life sentence. Elisabeth Fritzl, freed from the labyrinth in 2008, lives quietly with her children in a well-guarded home in a village 40 miles from Amstetten.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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