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Klaas, Heiko

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Spiegel Online - Germany | 17/09/2008

A dubious exhibition in Linz

The Austrian city of Linz, which will be European Cultural Capital in 2009, is showing an exhibition presenting Adolph Hitler's plans to make the city a sort of "Cultural Capital of the Führer". Spiegel Online news magazine writes that despite its goal of throwing light on the past, the exhibition is too uncritical of the Nazi art it displays: "There are no distraught self-portraits of artists who have been branded 'degenerate'. There are no apocalyptic landscapes or works showing the hideous face of the war. ... Similarly, in the sections on music and theatre the show concentrates on works that adhered to the Nazi party line: the Bruckner cult in the Third Reich and the operetta composer Franz Lehár, a protégé of Goebbels'. ... Despite its educational aims, the show continually comes back to works that fall in with Nazi doctrine. Ultimately this makes the entire 'Cultural capital of the Führer' project an awkward if not dubious affair. For now it can only be hoped that the huge exhibition will not become a mecca for die-hard nostalgics."

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