The Weinviertel, The Gemütlichkeit and The Dirt
In 1999 25 year old Nigerian, Marcus Omofuma, was killed during a forced deportation in Austria. He was handcuffed, chained and his mouth closed with adhesive tape by the three escorting policemen who claimed that the other passengers of the deporting Balkans Air flight should not be disturbed. Marcus Omofuma suffocated.
The Marcus Omofuma memorial, which was created and paid for by the sculptor Ulrike Truger, reminds of the violence against Omofuma. The stone was put up next to the opera building in Vienna without official approval and was therefore supposed to be taken down. However, in collaboration with the Green Party, a place for it was found between Mariahilferstra§e and Museumsquartier.
Currently the Weinviertel (a part of Lower Austria) is presenting its products and touristic services between Mariahilferstra§e and Museumsquartier — around the Omofuma memorial. A kinda surreal situation. The Gemütlichkeit and Fortress Austria. It’s like Weinseligkeit.
They also have a representation of Lower Austrian “Amethystwelt Maissau” (“the largest opencast amethyst vein in the world”).
Children can stir in dirt to find amethysts.
What a sad setting.
Austrian tourist industry. You rule.