Art Cult Center Tabakmuseum:
The Vienna Tobacco Museum
With almost 50 percent of the adult population smoking, Austria is among the stinkiest nations in the World. Yet, for some reason many Austrians seem to be proud of that and the Tobacco Museum in Vienna is only one of many examples for clear statements pro smoking.
The collections belongs to the Austria Tabak, the monopolised public tobacco company. It is the biggest of its kind worldwide and deals with any possible aspect of breeding lung cancer via tobacco since Christopher Columbus. Some of the items on display are very valuable - such as pipes, tobacco cutters, ashtrays, lighters, tobacco containers and other gimmicks from precious materials that might be centuries old. The focus, however, lies on smoking in Austria.
The history of the museum dates back to 1873, when the predecessor of Austria Tabak, then called k. & k. Tabakregie, started to buy valuable smoking equipment. This was done for a small show at the World Exhibition in Vienna, but the company continued to buy appropriate items during the decades that followed.
Transfer of the Tobacco Museum to the MuseumsQuartier
By 1981, the empire had long gone, and the collection had grown into some smoky beast of 20,000 items. Since 1959, the exhibition was openly on show in the headquarter of Austria Tabak, but the space was simply not enough anymore.
The collection moved to a custom-made museum in the Mariahilferstraße in 1981. With the re-development of the area around the museum into the modern MuseumsQuartier around 2001, the Tobacco Museum was thoroughly incorporated. Today, the state-of-the-art museum is part of the Art Cult Center, which is also home to a conference theatre for 220 people.
Nearby attractions are other museums such as the Ludwig Museum of Modern Art; the Leopold Museum; the Kunsthalle Wien; the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Naturhistorisches Museum; as well as the Hofburg Palace and the many attractions of the Ringstraße.
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