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Strigl, Daniela


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Falter - Austria | 21/10/2011

Austrian Lipizzaners in danger

The long-established Spanish Riding School in Vienna is in massive financial difficulties. The privatisation in 2001 has worked to the detriment of the institution because maintaining the high quality of horsemanship is impossible under the pressure of marketing requirements, the left-liberal weekly Der Falter writes: "Joseph II recognised long ago that stud farms cannot be managed at a profit. It must be said, however, that the reigns are not in the hands of the School's managers, but of politicians. They are to blame for the deification of 'efficiency' and profit. If those responsible fail to recognise very soon that the Spanish Riding School - which according to the law is an 'Austrian and international cultural heritage' - cannot be maintained in this way, then it was of no avail that Unesco selected it for its 'intangible world cultural heritage' list in 2010. ... Austria's politicians must recognise that practising the classical art of riding 'in its purest form' is first and foremost an art, and only for that reason also a tourist attraction. It should no more have to finance itself than the Vienna State Opera."

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