A village near Salzburg in Austria is installing CCTV cameras to try to stop visitors from taking rude advantage of its name.
The problem is, you see – and there’s no way to put this politely – the place is called Fucking and it’s been plagued for years by people filming themselves in sexually explicit poses by the village sign.
“I’m sure they all think they’re the first to do it, but believe me they’re not,” said one exasperated resident of the tiny hamlet (population 104). “We’ve grown very tired of it and we’re doing something about it.”
It’s hoped the CCTV cameras will make people think twice about their actions and just pose for an innocent tourist snapshot instead.
The village’s name is believed to come from a sixth century noble called Lord Focko, with ‘ing’ being old German for ‘family of’.
In 2004, residents voted against changing the name, despite the rising costs of replacing the Fucking signs every time souvenir-hunting tourists stole them.
by Andy Moreton
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The latest character created by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is about to hit the big screen … and Austrians are bracing themselves.
After Ali G and Borat comes Bruno, an outrageously camp fashion reporter who wants to be the ‘most famous Austrian since Hitler’. The movie is, according to one reviewer in the UK ‘deeply offensive and very funny’.
Austria, however, might not see the joke. There are fears that the country could have a similar experience to Kazakhstan, which is still recovering from the cruel satire directed at the nation by Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2005).
“Kazakhstan is still suffering enormous loss of identity… Austria could soon be going the same way,” says the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). Other commentators there have labelled the film ‘dull’, ‘insulting’ and ‘a threat to the country’s world image and economy’.
by Andy Moreton
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Some movies will always be inextricably linked with the city in which they were set and none more so than The Third Man, starring Orson Welles as Harry Lime.
It’s the 60th anniversary of the classic film noir that gave moviegoers a beguiling picture of post-war Vienna set against a haunting soundtrack of zither music. And even this long after The Third Man came out, there’s quite a little industry surrounding the film in the Austrian capital.
There is, for instance, a whole website devoted to it (www.thethirdman.net), in which the world’s leading expert on the film’s locations, Dr Brigitte Timmermann, offers the complete background to the making of the movie.
Dr Timmermann has also organised a tour of the locations. She says that, although the scars of the war have long disappeared, most of the sites have remained surprisingly unchanged.
“On this exciting tour, follow us through the cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards of old Vienna that inspired the author, Graham Greene. See the places where Harry Lime lived, appeared, disappeared and eventually died. Learn the fascinating story of how one of the all-time great films was made and what Vienna was like in the days of Allied occupation, Cold War espionage and the black market.”
Vienna Walks also plots the film’s locations, even down to the underworld of the city’s sewers, immortalised in the pursuit of Harry Lime. In addition, there’s a Third Man museum and the chance to see the film again with regular screenings at the Burg Kino on Opernring.
by Andy Moreton
Luxique’s Top Destination Vienna guide calls the Austrian capital ‘a truly inspiring destination’ and we can help you book the best luxury hotels in Vienna, including three on the Condé Nast Traveller Gold List, the Sacher, the Altstadt and the Grand.