Cultural commitment*

Principal shareholder Wiener Städtische Wechselseitige, Vienna Insurance Group itself, and its Group companies play a major role in promoting the realisation of artistic projects, and thereby the preservation of Austrian and international cultural heritage. By supporting creative ambitions, they help to create opportunities for artistic expression and promote cross-border discussion and understanding of current and future art movements. The arts and cultural funding programme provides support for selected institutions and projects in the area of fine arts, architecture, theatre, film and music.

Wrapping of the Ringturm by Xenia Hausner*

Xenia Hausner was the first woman artist entrusted with wrapping the Ringturm following Christian Ludwig Attersees’ “Don Giovianni”, Robert Hammerstiels’ “Tower of Life” and the “Tower in Bloom” by Hubert Schmalix. The work by this renowned Austrian painter titled “Sense of Family” transformed the building into an exquisitely colourful “Art Tower” that inspired the city of Vienna and visitors to the city from July to September 2011.

Leopold Museum receives the “Maecenas 2011” award*

The long-term partnership with the Leopold Museum was awarded the “Maecenas” cultural sponsoring prize in 2011, in the “long-term sponsorship” category. This active, mutually beneficial partnership also includes insurance for artworks and works lent from the VIG art collection for exhibitions in the Leopold Museum. Many joint projects have been realised over the years. These include the “Faculty picture” project, the “Grund, Mucha, Capek, ... Czech paintings from the Kooperativa collection” exhibition (2007/08), and the first comprehensive presentation of works from the Vienna Insurance Group collection under the title “Ringturm.Art” (2010/11).

Essl Art Award CEE*

Vienna Insurance Group awarded VIG Special Invitations for the second time as part of the ESSL ART AWARD CEE. The art award was created in 2005 by art collectors Agnes and Karlheinz Essl to provide support for art students from Central and Eastern Europe, and has been awarded every second year since that time, with the last time being the fourth. Vienna Insurance Group awards a VIG Special Invitation to one of the two winners in each participating country, which includes a prize of EUR 1,000.

The prize winners were invited to participate with their own exhibition in the Ringturm exhibition centre and to create a work especially for this occasion. The exhibition for the ESSL ART AWARD CEE 2011 took place in the Essl Museum from 7 December 2011 to 12 February 2012. The young artists will present their new works in late spring in the rooms at Group headquarters set aside for this purpose.

Climate protection partnership

Wiener Städtische uses district heating for three office locations in Vienna. Use of this environmentally friendly form of energy reduced CO2 emissions by 1,575 metric tonnes last year. The Vienna University of Technology certified this success. The climate protection partnership recently entered into with Wien Energie Fernwärme strengthens Wiener Städtische’s commitment to sustainability. The cooperation should help to further increase the share of district heating used in coming years and make an even greater reduction in emissions.

* Principal shareholder Wiener Städtische Wechselseitige provided a major part if not all of the support for these activities.