News & events > The new Weltmuseum Wien is Open! | Austria
28 Oct 2017

The new Weltmuseum Wien is Open! | Austria

On 25 October, the new Weltmuseum Wien (World Museum Vienna), an ASEMUS member, opened its doors after three years of reconstruction. The museum's reopening was marked with a spectacular show curated by André Heller at Vienna’s Heldenplatz, which attracted more than 7,500 people. There was a great run on the Museum both after the show and for the Open House on 26 October 2017, with around 9.500 visitors. Artists from all across the world – from Australia across Mongolia, India, Iran, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, and Switzerland to Mexico – had travelled to Austria for the event, and their fascinating performances left a lasting impression on the audience. The unforgettable evening was hosted by Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz, while Adele Neuhauser read from international literature between the music and dance performances.
In his speech Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen declared that he was already very fond of this “wonderful, new place of encounter”. While stressing that Austria “virtually had no colonial past”, he still pointed out that any encounter with other cultures was once usually characterised by a “patronising sense of supremacy”. In his words, the new Weltmuseum Wien is not only intended to encounter others at eye level but also to “see ourselves with different eyes”. Aside from guests from the world of diplomacy, politics, and business, guests of honour included British actress Tilda Swinton as well as the two world-famous directors Wes Anderson and Michael Haneke. The Weltmuseum Wien – formerly the Museum of Ethnology – houses comprehensive collections of ethnographic objects, historical photographs, and books on non-European civilisations, making it one of the leading ethnographic museums in the world. Following the three-year renovation, the Weltmuseum Wien's permanent exhibition has been redesigned from the ground up. Strung together like a chain of pearls, the series of stories told in the fourteen galleries feature the core of the permanent exhibition combined with contemporary interpretations. For additional information about the museum's reopening, please visit The profile of Weltmuseum Wien on ASEMUS' website is available at
Pictured above: images of the Weltmuseum Wien's re-opening event, including Dr. Sabine Haag, General Director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien; and Dr. Steven Engelsman, Director of Weltmuseum Wien, with guests. Images by Daniel Auer and Günther Langegger