From Austria with love: new Alpine lair for 007 opens to public!
Now in the same location, 3,000 metres above sea level, a museum dedicated to the world of the fictional spy has opened its doors.
After a vertiginous cable-car ride, visitors to the museum will be greeted by the sight of the futuristic, angular concrete structure jutting out of the sheer cliff-face, facing a panorama of dramatic peaks — the image of a secret agent’s lair.
The “007 Elements” installation, which opened this week in Austria’s Tyrol province, makes use of one of the standout locations of the last film in the franchise, 2015’s “Spectre”.
Several key scenes were shot in Sölden, one of Austria’s most famous winter sports resorts, in the heart of the Alpine Ötztal valley.
The steel-and-glass clinic where Lea Seydoux’s character works in the film is actually a gourmet restaurant next to the cable car station — which is now next to the museum. And the Ötztal Glacier Road played host to the chase between Daniel Craig’s 007 and the perennial bad guys, against a backdrop of snowy peaks.
“We thought that having an association between this exceptional location and the James Bond brand would be fantastic,” Jakob Falkner, head of the Bergbahnen Sölden ski-lift company and one of the project’s architects, told AFP.
The installation has been designed in close collaboration with the UK film company that produces the franchise and aims to give visitors an audiovisual journey through the films.
Architect Johann Obermoser explains the Bond-esque determination that was required to build the space, with part of the 1,300-square-metre (14,000-square-feet) space dug directly out of the rock, leaving most of the rooms “inside the mountain, so that you see as little as possible from the outside”.
“The idea was to feel the harshness of this landscape from inside, to feel the pressure that’s brought to bear by the elements.”
The temperature inside has to be kept below zero all year round, as the building would be at risk of collapse if the surrounding permafrost were to start to thaw.
It took just over a year to build the museum amid these hostile conditions, says Obermoser: “We had snow from August onwards; in November it was a metre (three feet) deep.”
Inside, the museum comprises a tour of nine stages through darkened rooms and tunnels equipped with giant screens and mirrors to immerse the visitor in chosen scenes from the films.
“We wanted it to feel more like a live version of going to the movies,” says Neal Callow, creative director of both the installation and most recent Bond films, adding that he has tried to recreate his work in film set design in the context of a museum, using architecture, light and sound.
Visitors will pass through the history of the franchise as represented by the different actors that have played Bond and some of the series’ most recognisable locations, before being immersed in some of the action scenes and discovering the secrets of how they were filmed.
And this being a museum about James Bond there are of course plenty of gadgets to admire along the way: watches, a gold pistol, a robotic car.
And the piece de resistance? The plane from one of the most dramatic “Spectre” scenes, suspended in pieces in front of a glass wall, with the Alpine horizon behind.
Source: The local. – Photo: AFP
Austria sends troops to border for migration response exercises[caption id="attachment_8840" align="aligncenter" width="768"]
Several hundred Austrian police and soldiers on June 26, 2018 simulated a border control exercise at the crossing point with Slovenia through which thousands of migrants had transited in 2015, a Vienna initiative that defends a toughening of European migration policy. / AFP PHOTO / Rene Gomolj[/caption]
Over 500 policemen and 220 soldiers took part at the border crossing of Spielfeld, according to an AFP correspondent at the scene.
“A state which can’t protect its borders when needed loses its credibility,” said Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, who oversaw the exercise along with Defence Minister Mario Kunasek.
Both men are members of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), which since last year has been the junior partner in a coalition government under conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz which has been at pains to emphasise its anti-immigration message.
Among the military hardware on display on Tuesday were two “Black Hawk” helicopters. During the exercises police cadets played the role of migrants standing at border gates asking to be let in.
The event also saw the first outing for a new police border protection force comprising some 600 officers, dubbed the “Puma” unit.
Several thousand migrants passed through Spielfeld in the summer of 2015 as part of the “Balkan route” towards northern Europe, although local police say the current rate of such crossings is almost zero.
A clampdown on immigration was a key message from the FPOe and Kurz’s People’s Party (OeVP) in last year’s elections and the government has made clear its wish for a restrictive policy on an EU level, with an emphasis on
the need to toughen up the EU’s external borders.
Last week Kurz raised the spectre of a repeat of the crisis of 2015, which he said would be a “catastrophe”, if the EU did not agree a common position.
Meanwhile he has made common cause with high-profile politicians from the Bavarian CSU, who have been clashing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by demanding a harder line in migration policy.
Source: The Local
Closing Austria & Germany’s porous border.
Austrian and German federal police moreover aim to assess controls along the Brenner Pass – a mountain pass at the border with Italy and Austria. A review of the initiative will be made in three months.
Especially in border areas, it is important to coordinate measures on both sides of the border, said Thomas Borowik, federal police spokesman in Munich, adding that the officials are keeping a close eye in particular on freight trains.
“We want to prevent dangerous illegal entries on freight trains at an early stage and prevent accidents,” said Borowik. “Migrants keep putting their lives at risk.”
Migrants usually travel between or on train carriages crossing the Brenner pass. In 2017, nearly 1,000 migrants were discovered on freight trains, according to federal police headquarters in the Bavarian capital.
But the number of illegal entries at the German-Austrian border is likely to decline if the trend shown in recent months continues.
In 2017, some 14,600 people tried to enter the country illegally at the border between the two countries. Around 7,200 of them were refused entry. In the first four months of 2018, there were almost 3,800 unauthorized entries and about 2,100 refusals.
Source: The local
Dream or nightmare? Brexit win or lose for Austria?
Styria, Austria’s automobile manufacturing hub, could benefit from Japanese British-based car makers relocating to the southeast Austrian region. But the southeastern Austrian region could also face its own Stygian nightmare if car supply chains are destroyed in a no-deal scenario.
“The region of Styria has an important position for the economic relationship with the British. Jaguar Land Rover started building cars there in 2017, which has been a tremendous boost to the Austrian economy,” Barbara Kolm, director of the Austrian Economics Institute, told The Local, commenting on the growing car hub around the city of Graz.
“Austria will probably be hit less by Brexit than many other EU member states – the German ifo Institute expects a relatively modest decline of GDP of 0.1 percent because of Brexit,” added Kolm.
Nearly 50 per cent of all Austrian exports to the UK are in manufacturing. And it is Austria’s car industry that is perhaps most exposed to the roulette effects of Britain’s departure from the European Union.
“The only sector that might profit from Brexit is the car industry, especially in Styria,” Barbara Kolm told The Local. “Jaguar Land Rover could outsource even more of its production to Austria after Brexit, and the industry hopes to be able to lure Toyota to Austria as well. Fiat Chrysler has already announced that it will move its production of tractors to Styria.”
But Brexit could also turn out to be a two-edged sword for Austrian car makers. “All of this could just as easily go wrong as well, for example if Jaguar Land Rover instead were to decide to move completely back to Britain in the long run,” added Kolm.
Austria has a trade surplus with the UK and more than 100 Austrian companies are nevertheless active in the UK market – “among them Novomatic, Wienerberger, and Zumtobel,” adds Kolm.
Alpine states such as Salzburg, where tourism is a key industry, could feel a heavier Brexit burden. Nearly one million Brits, mainly winter ski tourists, visit Austria each year.
“Especially during the winter months in the Alpine regions, tourism is of substantial scale and must not be neglected,” Kolm told The Local. British visitors constitute the 4th largest visiting national group in terms of overnight stays.
Seasonal Businesses in Travel (SBIT) is a lobby group of more than 100 British tourist operators, created in response to Brexit, that aims to “increase awareness of the potential impact of Brexit on the UK outgoing travel industry,” through lobbying of “UK and European governments.”
When it comes to financial services however, experts agree that Austria is unlikely to win or lose much in the battle to lure financial services firms from the UK.
Vienna has also emerged as a potential new low-cost aviation hub in light of Brexit. EasyJet announced that it will operate its new airline easyJet Europe out of Vienna. All of the budget carrier’s EU27 aircraft hope to be re-registered at the new hub by March 2019.
Ryanair is also looking to Austria as a post-Brexit stepping stone to the European market, having taken a stake in LaudaMotion, the low-cost airline founded by Austrian former Formula 1 world champion and airline pioneer Niki Lauda, reports The Local Austria.
Beyond the challenges in each sector, Austria’s current coalition government could also be an unpredictable force in the Brexit negotiations.
On July 1, Austria – traditionally a mainstream, moderate, member state – will take over the revolving six-month EU presidency.
Austria is most likely to use its term at the presidency to exert pressure on its neighbours rather than to get any special Brexit concessions, says Grieveson. While Germany is calling for all member states to make a larger contribution to the post-Brexit EU budget and fill the deficit left by the UK’s departure, Austria is reluctant to do so.
With regards to Brexit, the rights of Austrian citizens in the UK and Brits in Austria remain a quagmire issue. More than 10,000 Brits live in Austria, according to the Austrian national statistics agency Statistik. Approximately 25,000 Austrians live in the UK.
Source: The local
Any interest now, for the Hotel property market in Austria?
What is happening to commercial property market for Hotels and Guesthouses in Austria. Is it dead or just sleeping for now?
Long has it been the dream of many British to own a small guesthouse or hotel in the alps..ski-ing in winter, swimming in the lakes in summer!
Well, with the fears over Brexit and mortgage availability, the market has changed direction. We have found that the dream has not died, just the method of obtaining it.
Our clients are now requesting the possibilities of renting commercial property for a few years to see how it goes..before committing to buying. Our sellers are willing to accept a rental rather than waiting for sale. In many ways this is good for both buyer and seller. The buyer gets to try the lifestyle at a fixed rental and the seller gets a rent for their property…generally sellers are hoping for 4-6% ROI. and hopefully a sale in the long term. This can also work well for the property investor, as buying a commercial property can give them a better return than money sat in the bank!! So if any investors out there would like to buy into a business property with a guaranteed rental income…please let us know!