Opera Ball traffic warning issued

An important Vienna city centre traffic route will be closed down for three hours tomorrow (Thurs), it has been announced.Motorist association ÖAMTC appealed to drivers today to avoid the area of the State Opera, as the Ringstraße boulevard will be shut down for individual traffic between Schwarzenberg Square and Operngasse from 8pm to 11pm. The organisation said today, people would be well advised to use underground train services instead of their cars.The blockade will be introduced due to the Vienna Opera Ball, a posh get-together which national TV channel ORF has been broadcasting live for decades.The ball will be attended by political leaders, company bosses and showbiz personalities from Austria and abroad.Viennese shopping centre boss Richard Lugner traditionally gets the most attention since he invites singers, entertainers and actresses to the event every year.The Lugner City boss, 78, reportedly paid tens of thousands of Euros to get call girl Karima El Mahrough to attend the Opera Ball with him this year. Some media claim that the 18-year-old – who is better known as Ruby the Heart Stealer – had sex with troubled Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.