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Klimt's Beethoven Frieze

The entire show was an homage to Ludwig van Beethoven. Klimt’s monumental frieze greeted visitors in the entrance hall. Thirty-four meters wide and two meters high is this opulent, ornamental "symphony"; in which Klimt sought to immortalize Beethoven's "Ninth" and its interpretation by Richard Wagner.

Not only contemporaries were deeply impressed by this work - the world at large is still showing its appreciation. Originally, the cycle was intended to be dismantled once the exhibition had ended. A collector bought the frieze in 1903 and removed it from the wall, separating it into seven pieces. In 1973, the Republic of Austria bought the valuable work and made it accessible to the public in 1986 in a room specially created for it in the Secession.