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Austrian palace in restoration

06-08-2010 08:48 BJT

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The Great Gallery in Vienna's Shoon-brun Palace hasn't been renovated since Thomas Edison personally installed the building's electrics in 1899. Finally, the former imperial residence is getting a complete makeover.

The imposing Schoenbrunn Palace attracts 8 million tourists every year.

One of the most popular landmarks in the Austrian capital, it was originally built as a grand hunting lodge in the late 17th Century. It was later extended under Empress Maria Theresa's reign to become the palace that stands today.

The empress' court architect, Nikolaus Picassi, designed the Great Gallery, built in 1746.

The magnificent hall was used for large-scale festivities, such as balls, receptions, and banquets.

Nowadays, the Great Gallery is open to the public and is still used for concerts.

Renovation work on the gallery commenced in March - its Rococo interiors are being given a complete makeover.

Thomas Mahr, Renovation Chief, said, "There was no extended renovation of the whole gallery since 1899, since the installation of the electricity, nothing has been done. The electric lines were installed by Edison himself. You can see here the electric cables, which are fixed onto the stucco and partially painted in gold or white. Then, they would be dragged under, and the plaster would have been partially opened and the cabling would be laid under the render."

The palace and its park have been on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List since 1996. The renovation work is scheduled to be finished by 2012.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: CCTV.com

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