If you ever felt the urge to visit a museum naked, this would have been your chance to do it – together with 300 other art lovers.
It happened in the Leopold Museum in Vienna.
It might come as a surprise to you, but the conservative nation of Austria has a long tradition of getting naked.
As experienced once by Jessica Biel.
Another example is Stanley Kubrick’s film “Eyes Wide Shut” starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. It’s based on the novella “Dream Story” by the Austrian author, playwright, physician, and good friend of Sigmund Freud, Arthur Schnitzler. In the book the story takes place in Vienna and the author reflects on the topic of human sexuality.
In October last year, Vienna was shocked by three naked soccer players…
Posters of nude athletes were placed in the city to promote the exhibition “Nackte Männer” (Nude Men) at the Viennese Leopold Museum. Clear to see were the ‘sensitive parts’ of their bodies. Parents, Catholics, and other Viennese residents protested against this campaign and in the end they got what they wanted: the museum was forced to cover the mentioned parts with colored bars.
On the other hand, younger people and tourists were very exited about this type of promotion and took pictures with the soccer players and of the huge artwork in front of the Leopold Museum’s entrance. Mr. Big is a mixed-media sculpture of a reclined, 14-foot-tall naked man by artist Ilse Haider. Sex – or better male nudes – sell : The exhibition is a big success. The queues at the entrance are still long.
Last Monday, the museum opened its doors for naked art lovers. Over 300 visitors came like God made them – only employees of the museum and journalists were allowed to leave their clothes on. One journalist expressed his solidarity with the nudes and came at least topless.
I did not expect to see something like this on the streets of Vienna. Vienna is not as conservative as described in the travel guides! It is very open and – as it seems – its sometimes crazy. And I was amazed by the tolerance of local residents.