Roll Over Beethoven

One of Vienna's most illustrious art museums has caused a rumpus by hosting a swingers club on its premises.

The Secession Pavilion, an iconic relic of the fin-de-siecle era and home of Klimt's famed "Beethoven Frieze", has angered right wing groups with its raunchy concept.

Viennese swingers club Element6 was invited to set up shop in the museum by Swiss artist Christoph Buechel. Visitors must walk through a room decked out with erotic clobber before they encounter the fabled Klimt frieze. After closing time, the Element6 Club gets stuck into its normal routine. However, participants in the evening sessions are not obliged to dress up in art nouveau era togs.

The idea of the exhibition is "to overcome sexual inhibitions", echoing the initial brouhaha sparked by Klimt's work, which boasts nudes that were considered indecent in 1902.

Whether Gustav Klimt would have been amused by the concept is open to debate. That said, flamboyant fashion journalist Bruno says that it the show is "fantastisch." Element6 runs at the Secession Pavilion until April 18th.


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