Soccer fans shun Vienna's high culture

[OFF THE POST] Before Euro 2008 started, Viennese government officials saw the tournament as a chance to showcase the city's high culture. Soccer fans could wander amongst the famous artwork hanging in the Albertina or maybe catch a performance at the Vienna Opera House before watching the evening's games. But museum officials are lamenting low crowds and a ballet scheduled on the day of the final was canceled.

"It's never been this bad," complained Wilfred Seipel, director of Kunsthistorisches Museum, which has seen attendance decrease by 60 percent during the tournament, according to the New York Times.

The expected interest in the humanities never materialized because soccer fans of have been following a strict diet: eating, drinking, and watching soccer.

Only 30 percent of the seats for the June 29 ballet at the Vienna State Opera had been sold, prompting its cancellation. Director Ioan Holender said prospects of a city crowded with soccer fans for the Euro 2008 final deterred ballet aficionados.

 

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