Wednesday, 22. May 2013 - 12:05
12. 10. 12. - 16:00
One of Austria's most colourful characters the building magnet and reality TV star Richard Lugner is to celebrate his 80th birthday.
Lugner has left his mark on Austrian Society whether it was through his regular celebrity VIP guests who he invites to his box at the Opera Ball or the fact that his firm was the first to build a mosque in Vienna.
In 1990 he opened his own shopping mall, Lugner City, in a working class district of Vienna and, from the start, aggressively advertised his business by regularly inviting celebrities—starting with Thomas Gottschalk—who would perform there and sign autographs.
In 1992 Mörtel and his ex-wsife Mausi Lugner brought Harry Belafonte to Lugner City, and also took him along to the Vienna Opera Ball. From that time on, Lugner each year paid a celebrity to visit the shopping centre and then accompany them as their guest to that prestigious function at the Vienna State Opera.
Other guests have included Joan Collins, Ivana Trump, Sophia Loren, Grace Jones, Sarah, then Duchess of York, Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock and Geri Halliwell.
Through his shopping mall, Lugner is one of a small group of businesspeople who helped change Austrians' shopping habits by pushing to the limits the various regulations concerning opening hours.
In a city where shops generally closed at 6 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and at noon on Saturdays to remain closed for more than one and a half days until Monday morning, Lugner strongly advocated late night shopping on at least one weekday and an extension of shopping hours to Saturday afternoon, even when that meant raising the trades unions' opposition.
In the late 1990s Richard Lugner handed over his business to his two grown-up sons by an earlier marriage, Alexander and Andreas Lugner, and went into politics.
In the 1998 presidential elections he finished fourth in a field of five candidates, receiving an astonishing 9.91 per cent of the popular vote; incumbent Federal President Thomas Klestil, who had been running for a second term of office, received 63.4 per cent.
His reality show Die Lugners ("The Lugners") was produced by a private television broadcaster and showed Richard and Christina Lugner, their daughter, Jacqueline (born 1993), and Richard Lugner's mother-in-law, Martha Haidinger, at home, at work, and on holiday - it later featured his search for a new partner and later still his relationship with new love "Katzi".
Preparation for Life Ball begins
The preparations of the Life Ball in Vienna are at full blast after delays due to bad weather last weekend. Star guests like Eva Longoria and Carmen Electra are expected at Vienna Airport on Friday.
Woman killed by Vienna tram
A female pedestrian tried to cross a street in Vienna Hietzing yesterday afternoon (Tues) without paying attention to the traffic. She was hit by the tram number 60 and died at the scene.
15 minutes free parking instead of 10
The 15-minute parking ticket will replace the 10-minute parking ticket in autumn. The only alternative is to buy your parking ticket with your phone. A parking clock does not protect you from a fine.
Lightning storm causes damage in Lower Austria
810 lightning strikes have been counted in Lower Austria last night (Tues). Meteorologists state that this is not an extraordinary number but some lightning strikes resulted in fires. The fire brigade had to set out in several towns.
Spanish Riding School for everyone
The riding centre of Heldenberg, district of Hollabrunn (Lower Austria) is now offering exclusive courses: professional riders of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna teach interested riders.
Vienna advocates a ban on pesticides
Vienna has now joined those Austrian states that advocate a cooperative strategy for a ban of the neonicotinoids pesticides. Apparently, there are tested alternatives for the pesticides that are harmful for bees.
Huge debate over multilingualism in Austria
Possible projects for a "multilingual oriented educational concept" have led to a debate in Vienna. The SPĂ–, Ă–VP and FPĂ– are currently discussing the two sides of the issue: "multilingualism as a chance" and "German as a priority".
Exhibition Drawing Against Oblivion
The Leopold Museum in Vienna opened the the exhibition "Drawing against oblivion" on 17 May. Manfred Bockelmann drew more than 60 portraits of children and teenagers, who were victims of the Nazi terror.
Swap deals legal case gets underway
The civil case of the city of Linz, Upper Austria, against the Bawag bank about the swap deal will start on 24 May. The maximum amount of damage for Linz could be as much as 417 million Euros in the worst case.
Third man accident leaves man in hospital
A 55-year-old man fell during the "Third Man Tour", which leads visitors through the Viennese canal system. He is said to have suffered a femoral neck fracture.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|No smoking in bars does not work finds new study|
|New baby wolves born in the SchĂ¶nbrunn zoo|
|Charity seeks funds to restore Jewish cemetery|
|Court rejects Strasser's allegations|
|Third man accident leaves man in hospital|