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On June 2nd, 3rd and 4th, massive floodings hit Austria. The Ars Electronica Center stayed more or less dry, here's the story.

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Large parts of Central Europe are currently affected by the impact of the floods, however, the situation in western Austria is getting better. Also, the Ars Electronica Center was affected. The events of the past few days as well as our next steps on the road back to normality, you will read here.

Update 7.6., 12 am, last update for now

The Center is almost back to normal, there’s still some things to do over the weekend, but on Tuesday, June 11th, the Main Gallery will be up and running again, so you can visit the whole museum again.

Again, thank you very much to all employees who have done an extraordinary job to keep the center safe. Also a big thank you to the Feuerwehr Linz, we could not have made it without you!

This is the emergency-exit out of the Main Gallery. It was completely covered with water on June 3rd and 4th.

Update June 6th, 4:50 pm

Now everything comes back to where it has been before Sunday, June 4, 11 am. So far everything is going on schedule, even the quite complex technics that are packed into the four labs of the Main Gallery have no problems until now. If everything goes on this way, the Main Gallery will be reopened earlier than planned. Here are some impressions that should be also a suggestion for a post-flood visit to the Ars Electronica Center!

The robots have returned to the RoboLab.

Also the exhibits of the FabLab have found their place in the showcase back again.

The works of our large and small visitors are back in the FabLab.

The BioLab will be soon fully established.

The installations of the BrainLab are being switched on.

In RoboLab also the shining dress is available again.

The hand prosthesis with their small round mirrors are moving again.

And the renderings by Jon McCormack are back at the walls of the Main Gallery.

And Yoda can breathe again in the FabLab.

Update June 6th, 10:40 am

Good news from the Ars Electronica Center: The level -1 is now accessible again. Thus, the two exhibitions “Out of Control” and “GeoPulse” are open for you again. In the Main Gallery (exhibition “New Views of Humankind”) every installation, every lab, is currently being reconnected. The entrance fee to the museum of the future will continue be reduced by 50 percent until all work is done. Around the Ars Electronica Center, the excavators have done their job and the pumps are working.

Update June 6th, 8:20 am

Here in Linz, we start the second sunny day. The water level of the Danube has moved back over night, so the excavator now is able to remove the mud of the underpass beneath the Ars Electronica Center. Also inside the Main Gallery the exhibits are being built up, we will give you new impressions and a short report in several hours.

Update June 5th, 5 pm

While the blue sky and the green trees are bringing color into life again, the first exhibits return to their destination inside of the Ars Electronica Center after they were removed as a safety measure on Monday.  The technicians of the Ars Electronica Center and the Futurelab are intensively working to make the Main Gallery (exhibition “New Views of Humankind”) accessible for visitors in the next few days.

Update June 5th, 12:15 am

The cleanup in front of the Ars Electronica Center is progressing rapidly. Meanwhile, the small excavator has received strong support from its big brother – both are making their way through the mudslide.

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Update June 5th, 9 am

The worst is behind us, the Danube is falling back. Current status are 7,60 m (the highest was more than 9 m!). Now there’s work to do, in the Ars Electronica Center and around it.

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Update June 4th, 4:30 pm

The water level of the Danube falls down in moderate steps, the first overview is already available: The Ars Electronica Center will get back to its full operation in about two weeks, but we are working hard, to reopen the closed exhibition areas earlier than planned for our visitors. Once the firefighters of Linz do no longer require the access to the elevator on level -1 for pumping out the water, we open this floor with its exhibitions “Out of Control” and “GeoPulse” again – this should be the case in the coming days. Until all installations in the Main Gallery (exhibition “New Views of Humankind”) are back in operation, it will take about two weeks – on Monday, the entire team of the Ars Electronica actively helped to remove them for safety reasons. Our technicians now have the big task of establishing the normal state again. This afternoon journalists had the opportunity to visit the closed areas during a tour to get their own impressions of the situation. In the pictures you see Dr. Erich Watzl, Vice Mayor of the City of Linz, Diethard Schwarzmair, commercial director of Ars Electronica Linz GmbH, and Gerfried Stocker, artistic director of Ars Electronica.

Update June 4th, 12:15 am

Soon we will locate damages for taking further steps. To have a first impression here are two videos that show the current situation. First, we move from the ramp of the Ars Electronica Center through the back entrance to the level -1 and up to the foyer where the museum operates reguarly.

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In the lower level of the Ars Electronica Futurelab water enters through a broken pipe that is pumped out by the firefighters of the City of Linz.

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The flood protection wall at the service entrance underneath of the Ars Electronica Center is working.

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Update June 4th, 11:30 am

According to the Hydrographic Service of Upper Austria, the water level of the Danube in Linz is currently declining slightly. The pumps in the lower levels of the Ars Electronica Center and the Ars Electronica Futurelab perform their duties, the exhibition areas are thankfully still water-free. The museum opened at the regular opening time at 9 am for pupils and other visitors who currently make their tours through the Ars Electronica Center – the lower floors of the exhibition areas “New Views of Humankind”, “Out of Control” and “GeoPulse” are currently not accessible for security reasons.

Update June 4th, 8 am

Unfortunately, the forecasts for the water-situation were off, there’s still more water coming. The Ars Electronica Center is still dry and alright, but there’s water in one of the elevator-shafts. The Feuerwehr Linz is doing a great job though and everything is under control, the prototype of the High-Performance-Dryer hasn’t been used yet because there’s not enough water. If you’re keen on going to the museum, you can, but there’s some restrictions. Head to the Center’s website to find out which.

Update June 3rd, 5 pm

We are not taking this for granted, but it looks like the worst part is over, at least if it comes down to the amount of water. We still hope for the best.

Update June 3rd, 2 pm

On the eastern side of the building (the part where the Futurelab is located), some water is running into the maintenance-area of the Ars Electronica Center. The fire squad is helping out, they are pumping more water out of the building than is coming it, so for now, there’s no harm being done to the other rooms or the Main Gallery. For safety reasons, some of the installations in the Main Gallery have been moved, they should be back for the weekend. Until then, and for safety reasons (all the emergency-exits are flooded, after all), the Main Gallery is closed.

The rest of the Ars Electronica Center is up and running, the entry fee is 50% of the usual fee. If you have booked guided tours, they can be rescheduled or cancelled for free.

Thank you everyone for your help, thanks to the Feuerwehr Linz!

Status 3.6.2013, ca. 6:30 pm

Last update for today, the night is going to be a long one. The reason for the flooding of the parts of the buildung was a broken pipe, the building itself is fine. So it looks like a ship and is built like one. Fortunately no works of art, equipment or similar were hurt.

Status 3.6.2013, app. 5 pm

The Futurelab is “happy” about a new roboter, the Feuerwehr Linz is testing a new high-performance drying-machine, remote-controlled! This is the first time it’s used in a life situation, so it’s somehow fitting for the Museum of the Future.

This is what Linz near the Ars Electronica Center looks like at the moment. Check out updates on the floods here. June 3rd, 2 pm

June 3rd, 11 am

More pictures on flickr