A Masterpiece Remade


The Hall of the Muses houses Josef Klieber's series of newly restored sculptures, Apollo and the Nine Muses

The allied bombs that hit Vienna's Albertina Palace in March 1945 destroyed nine magnificent neoclassical staterooms and reduced stretches of richly decorated façade to rubble. The museum's priceless art collection — including masterpieces by Michelangelo and Rembrandt — had been moved by the Nazis to safe storage in salt mines near Salzburg, and survived unharmed. But the former Habsburg residence became a long-term casualty of war. Postwar refurbishment, from 1948-52, was a cash-strapped compromise of gray concrete exteriors; the grand entrance was replaced by a door at the side of the building. Visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the...

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