Vienna's imperial palace cancels rightist ball

AP News
Posted: Dec 01, 2011 3:20 PM
Vienna's imperial palace cancels rightist ball

Officials at Vienna's former imperial palace say a ball that critics say draws Nazi sympathizers will have to be staged elsewhere as of 2013.

The Hofburg palace says in a statement it will host the rightists one last time in January _ when Vienna waltzes at dozens of balls _ because contractual obligations must be honored.

But it says that rightist fraternities located in Austria and Germany that traditionally dance at the Hofburg each year will have to look elsewhere starting with the 2013 ball season.

Thursday's statement said the decision was made because of the "political and media dimensions" that the ball has assumed.

Austrian groups monitoring extremism say the fraternities include rightist extremist groups. The ball regularly draws leftist protests that sometimes turn violent.