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Artists sought for monument to deserters

By Rachael Williams

Planning for the erection of a deserters' memorial in central Vienna is already in progress and the names of some of the involved artists are set to be revealed before Christmas.

The monument which is planned for Ballhausplatz in the centre of the Austrian capital has secured  245,000 euros in funding from the city council and planners can now push on with the search for a team of artists to lead the project.

Director of KÖR (Art in Public Spaces) Martina Taig said that at the moment a list of artists is being worked on. Taig said: "We will hold a meeting before Christmas to discuss the competition procedure."

But regardless of this procedure, artists will then face a board of advisors made up of a KÖR jury, a couple of historians and an artist who will have the final say in the decision-making process.

An initial brainstorming session for the project will take place before Christmas.

Then over the summer the artists to be involved in the project will be finalised.

The goal is still to start the project in 2013.

The latest move to push ahead with the project comes after the Urban Culture Committee recently decided on a budget of 220,000 euros.

According to Urban Culture Committee spokesperson Anreas Mailath-Pokorny (SPÖ) this money will help with the tendering and construction of the memorial.

A total of 245,000 euros is intended for the monument after 25,000 euros has already been allocated to project preparations.

From this point the KÖR will handle the project. Any controversial monument which honours the victims of Nazi military justice will be rejected by the FPÖ (Austria Freedom Party).

The site for the monument at Ballhausplatz was only agreed after lengthy discussions.

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