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Wednesday, 27 December, 2000, 14:31 GMT
Art house seeks model beauty
Models
Fifty women are to stand naked for the museum opening
By Paul Brennan in Vienna

One of Austria's main art houses, the Kunsthalle in Vienna, is on the lookout for 50 young women, prepared to pose naked during the official opening of the museum's new complex.

The controversial New York artist Vanessa Beecroft was commissioned to come up with a performance piece for the opening.

She wants the models to stand naked in carefully arranged poses for three hours.

The idea is that the models will start to weaken as time goes on and the perfectly choreographed arrangement will begin to fall apart.

Perfectly proportioned

The Kunsthalle has already started advertising for the women - they must all be aged between 18 and 35, on top of that they have to be slim and between 175 and 185 centimetres tall.

A spokesman for the museum says the most important quality is that the women must not be shy about appearing naked in front of strangers.

Despite her strict demands about age, weight and height, Ms Beecroft claims her work tries to oppose the conventional ideals of beauty and to emphasise the individuality of the body.

The naked models will not speak or move and will make no contact with the public.

Museum metropolis

The performance will mark the presentation of the new Kunsthalle building in the so-called museum quarter of the city.

Austria, which has more museums per head than anywhere else in the world, has invested millions of dollars in the museum quarter, which lies in the grounds of the old Imperial stables.

Those behind the project claim it will be the largest museum and art complex on the planet.

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23 Dec 00 | From Our Own Correspondent
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