Trichet visits Viennese gallery

Jean-Claude Trichet visited a museum in Vienna, it has been revealed.

Albertina director Klaus Albrecht Schröder told the magazine News that the banker spent two hours at the museum some days ago. “We did not want to make a big fuss about it,” Schröder said about the visit of Trichet.

The Frenchman retires as head of the European Central Bank (ECB) at the end of this month. Bank of Italy Governor Mario Draghi is set to succeed him. Schröder said about his encounter with Trichet: “His financial policies may be controversial, but it is a fact that he is incredibly well educated.”

The Albertina is located in Vienna’s Innere Stadt district. It recorded 630,000 visitors in 2009. Then US American First Lady, Laura Bush, attended exhibits on display at the museum in 2006. “Basic Instinct” star Sharon Stone and Band Aid co-founder Bob Geldof also visited the Albertina in the same year. Stone reportedly took off her shoes for the exclusive tour through the gallery’s showrooms and had tears in her eyes due to the impact of one the works on display.

Speaking to News, Schröder said that calling what happened in advance of Bush’s visit “censorship” would be an understatement. “All nudes and everything which could cause some kind of embarrassment had to be removed,” he revealed.

Hollywood’s top glamour couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie famously attended the Albertina undercover in 2006. The actors wore dark coats and baseball caps as they checked out the gallery’s Egon Schiele exhibition. A spokesman for the museum claimed at that time that the stars were not accompanied by bodyguards but chatted to visitors and signed autographs for teens. Schröder told News he remembered Pitt first and foremost “for being extraordinarily small.”

Schröder was famously fooled by a Viennese radio station two and a half years ago. Krone Hit sent a lookalike of Beyoncé Knowles to the Albertina for a private tour before performing at the Viennese Stadthalle concert hall. Schröder had no doubts that it was the Grammy Award winning singer that he was showing round the gallery. A spokeswoman for the Albertina branded the private broadcaster’s gag as “outrageous” afterwards. She said, “We had our doubts but we were not sure. Some teenagers screamed when they spotted her. (…) They should have noticed it, shouldn’t they?”