Vienna gallery displays 50 million euro salt cellar
VIENNA - Agence France-Presse
People visit the art-chamber (Kunstkammer Wien) of the art-historic museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum) on February 28, 2013 in Vienna on the eve of its reopening. AFP PHOTO / DIETER NAGLVienna's Kunstkammer gallery opened Friday after a 10-year restoration with an exhibition featuring a golden sculpture thought to be the world's most precious salt cellar.
Crowds flocked to see the over 2,000 treasures from the Habsburg collections, from tapestries and bronze statuettes to intricate works of gold, silver and ivory, and exotic objects including the alleged horn of a unicorn.
The highlight of the exhibition however, is the 16th-century "Saliera", a sumptuous gold and enamel creation representing the god Neptune and goddess Tellus and created by Italian artist Benvenuto Cellini for King Francis I of France. The "Saliera", worth over 50 million euros ($65 million), made headlines when it was snatched in 2003 from Vienna's Art History Museum only to be found three years later, in a box buried in a forest northwest of Vienna.