Vienna to restore traditional site of Mozart's grave

The Vienna cemetery where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is believed to have been buried will undergo restoration, as the city prepares for next year's celebrations of the 250th anniversary of the composer.

Although the memorial marking Mozart's traditional burial site at St. Marxer Cemetery remains in sound condition, hundreds of other tombstones and statues in the surrounding park have suffered centuries of neglect.

Authorities plan to restore a few of those graves - at a cost of Ђ260,000 ($316,758) - and use knowledge gained from the task for further restoration work, according to the plans announced Friday.

"The St. Marxer Cemetery must be preserved ... as a valuable cultural monument" and as the only remaining cemetery designed in a distinctive mid-19th century style known as Biedermeier, the city's top cultural official, Andreas Mailath-Pokorny said in a statement.

The St. Marxer Cemetery is now a landmark park, with the gravestones of local artists, scientists and politicians who were buried there between 1784 and 1878.

Mozart died in 1791 and was believed to have been buried in a pauper's grave. Though initially unknown, the grave's likely location was determined in 1855 - a spot now adorned by a column and a mourning angel. The remains from the grave at the memorial site were transferred to the city's central cemetery in 1891 where Mozart was given an grave of honor, authorities said in a statement.

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