In cross-section, the triangular prism containing a sphere that features on the Reloading Humanism Main Menu is a 13,14,15 triangle. This is the smallest example of a scale triangle whose sides are all a whole number of units in length. Named after Hero of Alexandria (10-85 AD), such triangles are known as Heronian Triangles.
In his Metrica, Hero surveys the ways by which the areas of plane figures may be ascertained and in Book I, Proposition 5, considers a 13,14,15 scale triangle. Constructing a line that is perpendicular to the side of 14 units and which intersects with the point a, on the opposite corner, he shows that such a line has a length of 12 units. From this he then goes on to establish that the area of the triangle is 84 units. As 8 + 4 = 12 and twelve is not only the length of the perpendicular that goes through point a but is also the number of people featured at Reloading Humanism, the triangle, its history and its occurrence in the composition of a statue of Saint Vitus held by Museum Krems, are taken as an emblem of the site and its mission. Returning to this history, when the Greek mathematical tradition came to an end, Hero’s Metrica was lost and for centuries, the triangle was unknown in the West.
Yet it was preserved in the Arabic tradition and was discussed by authors such as Thabit ibn Qurrah al-Harrani in his tahrir kitab al mafrudat. See archive.org for the kitab al-mutawassitat, owned by Columbia University in which Thabit’s tract is to be found on pages 256-253 (ff. 112-116).
During the thirteenth century, the triangle was brought back to Europe by Leonardo of Pisa (circa 1170-1240), otherwise known as Fibonacci. Able to read and speak Arabic, Fibonacci was taught mathematics using Arabic numerals and in his Liber abaci performed the hugely important task of extolling the virtues of the new system to a western readership. Although Greek letters topped by a bar, are handy, like the numbers 1-9, the number ten was represented by a letter, so that there was no symbol for zero. When written vertically, there was thus no automatic ordering of the decimal components of a number into columns of units, tens, hundreds and thousands. In the Indian system however, via the sign that denoted absence, this ordering immediately springs into being and opens up new ways in which numerical symbols can be manipulated, allowing operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and long division to be carried out without the use of an abacus.
In geometry, where the Euclidian tradition was concerned with generalised, abstract deduction that at first sight has no practical application, Fibonacci was concerned with returning to the older traditions summarised by Hero of Alexandria, on which surveying and astronomy were based. To this effect, his intention was to show how the introduction of Arabic numerals could turn geometry turn into a powerful tool of immense practical significance. Despite the introduction of Arabic numerals, in mathematical textbooks, plane figures whose sides were formed by whole numbers were and still are popular. In his De practica geometrie Fibonacci discusses the 13,14,15 triangle ten times, while after him, in his Trattato d’Abaco, the artist and mathematician Piero della Francesca (1412-1492), devoted 20 exercises to it. Following in the footsteps of Piero della Francesca was his townsman and fellow mathematician, Luca Pacioli (circa 1456-1517), whose De summa arithmetica, geometrica, proportioni e proportionalita of 1494, had 23 exercises that were concerned with the 13,14,15 triangle. In both of these works, Piero della Francecsa and Pacioli were, like Fibonacci, concerned with showing the practical uses of geometry and how through the quantification of what was known, unknown quantities could be deduced.
A self-portrait by Piero della Francesca, where following the convention of the time, the artist looks out at the viewer. Detail from The Meeting of Solomon and Sheba from The Legend the True Cross, painted in fresco in the Apsis of the Cathedral at Arezzo
Among the exercises on the 13,14,15 triangle given by Pacioli, two are concerned with columns which, like the prism on the Reloading Humanism Main Menu, have the triangle as a cross-section. Significantly however, in both of these exercises, as well as in all the other examples referred to above, the circle is missing.
Continuing in the tradition of borrowing examples, in his later Libellus de quinque corporibus regularibus, Piero della Francesca reuses 15 of the exercises from his own Trattato d’Abaco, whilst introducing seven new ones. Piero’s Libellus was written in Italian and then translated into Latin, the language of humanism. In the Ducal Library at Urbino, Pacioli then translated the Latin text back into Italian and the work was printed by Pacioli’s printer in Venice. At the same time, a second book by Pacioli was printed. This was his Divinia Proportione of 1509 which was likewise printed in Venice by Paganni. For unknown reasons, at some stage Piero’s Libellus was inserted into Pacioli’s Divinia Proportione. That this was not originally intended and was the result of unforeseen, irregular circumstances is shown by the fact that in the copies of Divinia Proportione that have survived, the ordering of the different parts is inconsistent, often illogical and in some cases is nothing less than utterly careless. While none of the texts by Pacioli in Divinia Proportione mention the 13,14,15 triangle, it occurs 22 times in Piero’s Libellus and it is with an exercise on the 13,14,15 triangle with which Piero concludes the work.
Although the mathematical operations are simple, this last exercise is a tour de force that, invoking the circle enclosed in the triangle and showing it to have a radius of four, in its layered complexity surpasses all other treatments. In an article on the art and mathematics of Piero della Francesca, Alexander Curtis shows that whereas Piero’s Trattato d’Abaco fits into the tradition of showing the practical uses of geometry his Libellus is in fact a very different undertaking, with the last exercise hinting at the long sought link between Piero’s art and his mathematics.
Saint Vitus in a Vat, anonymous, painted and gilded wood, circa 1520
Moving North to Krems, a sculpture dating from around 1520 shows Saint Vitus, the patron saint of the parish church, in a vat of boiling oil. Praying to God, Vitus was rescued by a swarm of angels who carried him up to Heaven. Although the cauldron is supported by two legs at the front and by a column at the back, an examination by Alexander Curtis has shown that it originally had a third leg which was later removed so that, supported by the newly added column, the work could be inserted into a niche or placed closer to the wall than hitherto.
The column raises the back of the statue upwards so that at the front it leans forward, suggesting that the new position was above eye level, where it would have been advantageous for the work to be inclined towards the viewer. This in turn suggests that the work was originally placed at eye level in a manner that allowed it to be seen from all sides, with the attention given to the muscles of the Saint’s back confirming this.
The two front legs are markedly asymmetrical and if their outermost points are connected and joined to the point where the third leg will have touched the ground, a 13,14,15 triangle will be described. Meanwhile the circle contained by the triangle defines the narrowest part of the cauldron’s neck.
This suggests that the 13,14,15 triangle was a deliberate and integral part of the composition with the intention being, through the mathematical defining of space and the symbolism of numbers, to create a sacred space in which the laws of space and time could be thought of as being suspended. As shown by art historians and supported by the article by Alexander Curtis on Piero della Francesca, geometrical constructions occur in a number of works by the artist and were a trait of some of the art produced during the Renaissance.
Pacioli teaching geometry as show at the beginning of his Summa
Although the 13,14,15 triangle may well have arrived in Krems as an immaterial import in the mind of an artist or mathematician, it may equally have arrived in the form of Pacioli’s Summa which like Divina Proportione had been printed in Venice by Paganni. In the history of finance, Pacioli’s Summa is of singular important as it was in this work that double-entry book-keeping was first explained and introduced. Double-entry booking enabled merchants to keep a far better track on what was going on in their various dealings and the section of Pacioli’s Summa that dealt with double-entry book-keeping was freely copied and translated. Spreading throughout Europe, from England, the English translation later made its way to the Americas, so that today Pacioli is known as „The Father of Accounting“ as, although he did not invent double-entry book-keeping, he understood its importance, made it accessible and thus revolutionised business. In the Summa, the 13,14,15 triangle occurs 37 times, all be it without the circle of radius four.
Details of a drawing dated 1529, by Wolf Huber showing Krems and Stein and the recently built bridge over the River Danube
Situated at the intersection of the East-West Danube trade route and the North-South, overland route that connected Prague, Vienna and Venice, during the Renaissance, the twinned towns of Krems and Stein were a major centre of commerce. Testifying to the cultural connections linking North and South, during the period, the wealthy citizens of Krems and Stein would send their sons to study in Padua and Venice and works of Italian literature and philosophy were known and read. In such an environment, it is difficult to imagine that Pacioli’s Summa was not known in its unabridged and original form. Alternatively, in the wake of the Summa, knowledge of the 13,14,15 triangle together with its enclosed circle of radius may have made its way to Krems in the form of Piero’s Libellus bound in with Pacioli’s Divina Proportione. Today, the National Library in Vienna holds copies of both of Pacioli’s printed works and although their provenance is unknown, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that they and other copies were in Austria during the Renaissance. For the Viennese copy of Divina Proportione see: digital.onb.ac.at. This begins with the first 55 execrcises of Piero’s Libellus which are interrupted by the first part of Pacioli’s Divina Proportione, before being allowed to continue until its end, where there then follows the rest of Divina Proportione. For the copy of the Summa held by the Museo Galileo, see: bibdigmuseogalileo.it.
Following the Danube upriver to the River Traun and then on to its ultimate source, leads to Altausseer Lake where in the hills above, rock salt has been mined since the Middle Ages. During the later half of the World War II, this was where Saint Vitus in a Vat and two portraits from Krems were kept in a mine for safe-keeping.
During 1943, scouting the country for places where art could be safely stored, Dr. Herbert Seibel from the Institüt für Denkmal Pflege (IDP) or Institute for the Conservation of Monuments investigated the salt mines of Altausseer Land and found that the mine at Altaussee offered perfect storage conditions. Accordingly he arranged for important works of art from small museums, churches and monasteries to be stored there and in October 1943, the director of Krems Museum, Hans Plockinger entrusted 7 boxes of diverse items and three gothic statues to the IDP for storage at Altaussee with one the „gothic“ statues being Saint Vitus in a Vat. Also among the items are two portraits which like Saint Vitus in a Vat, date from the Renaissance and show the apothocary, Dr. Wolfgang Kapler and his wife Magdalena.
The portrait of Magdalena Kappler is quite possibly by Wolf Huber and is a typical example of the Danube School of painting in which a figure and a landscape are combined and painted in a naturalistic style.
The reverse of the portait of Wolfgang Kappler shows the doctor asleep at the foot of a family tree in which eight of the couple’s thirteen children are depicted.
When word of the mine’s suitability as a place of storage reached the mangement of the Führersammlung, the growing collection of art that was intended to rival the Louvre and the Ufficci, the entire mine network was designated as being exclusively for the new museum with Seibel being in charge of all matters relating to the storage, documentation and conservation of the art, books and archives that were depsited there. Other museums in Austria, such as the Kunsthisorisches Museum in Vienna and the National Library, therefore deposit works in the salt mine at Lauffen not far away. Works intended for Altaussee were transported first by train to Bad Aussee and then by lorry. In winter, instead of lorries, once British POW’s had cleared away snow a caterpillar-tracked transporter was used to carry works the last leg of the journey up to the mine. Later on, when fuel was scarce, carts pulled by oxen were used.
Along with the incoming art works, there were also teams of art historians and restorers who, working in specially adapted galleries, drew up inventories and restored works that had been damaged in transit. Among the experts specially draughted in was Hermann Michael, a mineralogist from the Museum of Natural History in Vienna. Apart from Saint Vitus in a Vat, among the 137 sculptures recorded, was Michaelangelo’s Brugges Madonna, which on 8th September, 1944, whilst train loads of plundered French art were abandoned, had been taken from the Church of our Lady in Brugges and loaded onto a lorry, arriving in Altausee two months later.
Emmerich Pöchmüller, the director of the mines and salt-works in Altausseer Land, wrote: „Inextinguishable were the impressions gathered whilst doing my rounds through the tunnels and galleries of the mine. One opened a door and suddenly stood one stood face to face … with an image that one had known since childhood but always separated by a distance in the impersonal context of a museum. Instead of being at arm’s reach, the pieces of the Gent Altarpiece were there to be held and looked at individually and wherever one went there were beautiful things, candelabra’s, jugs, and fine furniture, with magnificent sculptures looking down from the shelves. It was a unique, magnificent atmosphere and whoever saw the mountain’s treasures was moved and captivated by the spell“.
With a stable temperature of around 8°C and a humidity of 75% that hardly varied, the mine offered perfect storage conditions and it was thought, would be safe from bombs. Yet a few months later, the security and serenity of this underground world suddenly began to dissolve.
19th March, 1945: Hitler issues the „Nero Decree“ which states that, „all military transport and communication facilities, industrial establishments and supply depots, as well as anything else of value within Reich territory, which could in any way be used by the enemy immediately or within the foreseeable future for the prosecution of the war, will be destroyed“
30th March, 1945: the last train load of art for the Führer Collection is evacuated from Vienna and 36 hours later arrives at Bad Aussee where the contents are loaded onto lorries for the journey to Altaussee
10th April, 1945: in accordance with orders given by the Gauleiter or governor of the region, August Eigruber, four crates are delivered and deposited deep inside the mine.
Stamped with the warning „Careful, marble, do not drop„, everything about the delivery in unusual and the miners suspect that the crates contain bombs
13th April, 1945: on the day the Red Army enters Vienna, a second delivery of crates arrives at the mine and is likewise transported deep inside. Helmut von Hummel also arrives, who is the personal assistant of Hilter’s general secretary, Martin Bormann. Von Hummel announces to the assembled management of the mine and its priceless collections that Hitler’s instructions are for the infrastructure of Germany to be lamed and rendered in-servicable for an extended period of time. Though not stated as an order, the implication is that some form of destruction must be initiated. Heated discussions break out about what is to be done and how these instructions are to beintpretated. At Pöchmüller’s insistance, von Hummler calls Berlin and recieves the instruction that works of art are not to be destroyed. Von Hummel then leaves as he has money and gold that is to be hidden in the region
16th April, 1945: Pöchmuller travels to Linz and failing to get an appointment with Eigruber leaves a message
17th April, 1945: Pöchmuller is informed by telephone that plans for the mine’s destruction are unchanged. Travelling again to Linz and this time getting through to Eigruber, Pöchmüller requests permission to destroy the entrance to the mine first so that when the main charges go off, destruction will be more effective. Eigruber dismissively tells Pöchmüller to do what he thinks best – just as long as the mine and its contents are destroyed
18th April, 1945: preparations for the detonation of the entrance to the mine begin, with some 500 holes being bored over the course of 140 working hours
19th April, 1945: Ernst Kaltenbrunner, head of the Gestapo, is in Berlin for the last time with the intention of convincing Hitler to make peace with the Americans. Like Hitler, Kaltenbrunner is from Linz and instead of addressing matters at hand, Hitler leads Kaltenbrunner into a small room and shows him a model of the new Linz that is being planned, together with the new museum. The Führer then says: „My Dear Kaltenbrunner, if the two of us were not convinced that we after the final victory, we would together rebuild Linz, then I would shoot myself today“. Abandoning plans for a serious conversation, Kaltenbrunner takes leave of Hitler and visiting Himmler, is entrusted with power over Ausria and Bavaria should communications within the Reich breakdown
22nd April, 1945: a telegram arrives from Berlin in which it is expressly stated that only the entrance to the mine is to be destroyed not the mine and its contents. Pöchmüller wants to use this as a justification for ordering the removal of the bombs but Eigruber refuses to accept the authority of the telegram as it was only signed by Bormann and not by Hitler himself
23rd April, 1945: Seibel and Siebler, begin to remove the most important works, such as Vermeer’s The Painter in his Studio, to places deeper within the mine. Other works are moved by them to locations outside, such as the local church. Among the miners rumors are rife and although it is agreed that action must be taken no consenus is reached
27th April, 1945: Seibel makes hasty arrangements for 92 of the most important items entrusted to the IDP to be moved to the mine at Lauffen and at 3.00 p.m. two lorries leave Altaussee. Due to a misunderstanding, the first lorriy drives through Lauffen and only stops at Bad Ischl some four Kilometres further on. To prevent separation, the second lorry and follows and as the day is drawing to a close it is decided to leave the delivery at a tavern in the care of an employee of the Natural History Museum in Vienna. This is the Gasthof Engeljähringer where the items are stored on the verenda
28th April, 1945: for the 92 items at Bad Ischl, neither vehicles nor staff are available and the consignment remains at the Gasthaus
29th April, 1945: Hitler dictates his will wherein it is stated that: „the paintings acquired over the years were never bought for my private consumption but were always collected so as to enlarge a gallery in my hometown of Linz on the Danube. That this be realised is my deepest wish.“
30th April, 1945: Hitler shoots himself and his mistress. Pöchmüller instructs the manager of the mine at Altaussee, Otto Högler, to remove the bombs. In his office, Högler is threatened by Eigruber’s number two with a pistol and told that the detonation team is already on its way from Innsbruck and will arrive at the mine in two days‘ time
1st May, 1945: Högler finds the mine guarded by solders who control everyone who enters and leaves the mine
2nd May, 1945: two miners enter the mine at night and establish that the eight mysterious boxes do indeed contain bombs. These were dropped over Linz by American bombers and failed to detonate. Each bomb weighs 1,100 lbs/500 Kg
3rd May, 1945: Högler is informed of the bombs and their whereabouts. All the miners are willing to risk their lives in order to save the mine, its contents and their livelihood, nevertheless it is decided that support for their action should be obtained from Kaltenbrunner who is in Altaussee with his mistress, the Countess of Westarp. Asked by a miner who knows him, for militray support in the plan to remove the bombs, Kaltenbrunner agrees to regulate things with Eigruber and counter any resistence. On trying to contact the Regional Govenor howwever, he fails to get through. Citing Kaltenbrunner, at 7.30 p.m. a team of miners is allowed by the war-tired and unfed guards to enter the mine and the miners set about removing the bombs which turns out to be a time-consuming process. in the meantime, the commander of the guards informs Eigruber and at midnight two soldiers are sent to arrest Kaltenbrunner who sees them off with his overpowering presence and his own SS guards. Later there is a heated telephone conversation between Eigruber and Kaltenbrunner which is overheard by the switchboard operator and a soldier. Two other soldiers are sent by Eigruber to the mine. Whether they followed these orders and whether they encountered the armed resistence of miners or were otherwise threatened is unknown
4th May, 1945: early in the morning, the bombs are extracted from the mine and hidden in a wood at the foot of the mountain. Work begins on the final preparations for the detonation of the entrance. This takes 20 hours
5th May, 1945: the entrances to the mines at Altaussee and Lauffen are detonated
7th May, 1945: the American Third Army reaches the Pötschen Pass that leads into the Altaussee basin. Accompagnied by two local guides, Kaltenbrunner trecks up into the mountains of Totengebirge in order to make himself scare for a while. This service may well have been part of a repayment for his having helped save the mine
8th May, 1945: commanded by Major Ralph Pearson, two jeeps and a truck of soldiers carefully approach the mine and are met by Michael who claims sole credit for having saved the mine and its contents and is given local power of administation in all matters concerning the stored works of art and artefacts. As an NSDP member, Höger is denounced and arrested
9th May, 1945: Germany surrenders unconditionally, with it already being agreed by the Allies and Russia that Germany and Austria are to be made into occupied territories that are to be divided between England, France, the United States and the Soviet Union, with the four nations independently administering the areas allocated to them. Michael orders Seibel and Sieber to return the works of art secluded and with the exception of the consignment at Bad Ischl, this is carried out. Michael also demands that the inventory of the mine’s contents be handed over to him. Though incomplete, this is the only inventory of what has been stored in the mine and among the works listed as being entrusted to the IDP for safe-keeping, there are the Krems paintings and Saint Vitus in a Vat
pic inventory Saint Vitus in a Vat
12th May,1945: Kaltenbrunner is betrayed and arrested in a mountain cabin. Also around this time Michael denounces NSDP member Pöchmüller, who is arrested and his one-time superior and enthusiatic Nazi, Seibel, who loses his job. Of those knowledgable of both the mine and its contents, this leaves only Michael and Sieber, with the latter soon departing of his own accord. Before this happens however, Michael arranges a staged photograph which shows him sitting on a bomb surrounded by miners, two GI’s and with Sieber nearby. The news of the find at Altaussee and the photograph make world headlines
13th April, 1945: the consignment of Bad Ischl is reported to the Americans and it is emphasised that, consisting of Austrian artefacts it ought to remain in Austria
17th May, 1945: at Altaussee, Captain Robert Posey and Pcf. Lincoln Kirstein of the Monuments, Fine Art and Archives division (MFAA) are the first to crawl through a hole in the rubble at one of the mine entrances and stumble on Van Eyck’s Ghent altarpiece
21st May, 1945: MFAA man, George Stout, arrives in Altaussee and from the catalogues sees that there are 6,577 paintings, 230 drawings, 954 graphic works, 137 sculptures, 128 pieces of arms and armour, 79 baskets of objects, 484 cases of objects thought to be archives, 78 pieces of furniture, 122 tapestries, an exact count of 181 boxes of books and posters, along with a further 1,200-1,700 boxes of the same and 283 diverse items. In addition there is a „very large number“ of uninventorised works. Stout’s job is to arrange and oversee the packaging and transportation of the collection to a central depot in Munich. This is the „Führerhaus“ where Hitler lived when in Munich and where the Munich Agreement was signed. Apart from Michael, other characters appear, all claiming to have played prominent and vital parts in saving the priceless collection. As none of the stories match up, in his diary Stout writes: „I am sick of all schemers, of all the vain crawling toads who now try to edge into positions of advantage and look for selfish gain or selfish glory from all this suffering“
5th June, 1945: prior to the dividing up of Austria and Germany into administrative zones, a line decided by the European Advisory Council months before in London, is to serve as a division between Allied and Russian forces. As Allied forces are significantly East of the line, Stalin refuses to agree to a summit meeting or to any convention if this agreement is not first honoured. With Eisenhower’s approval, Truman orders that in Germany the withdrawal is to begin on 21st June. Concerning Austria, he says that arrangements should be „left to local commanders“. This so-called „Presidential Directive“ means that although the mine at Altaussee has been saved, there is a very real danger of its contents falling into Soviet hands and being sent back to Russia. Although it is impossible to empty the mine and transport the art works to Munich by the date stipulated for Germany, a race against time nevertheless begins
16th June, 1945: the first convey of 8 trucks leaves Altaussee and arrives in Munich the next day
18th June, 1945: Stout records that on that day, they had only managed to load two trucks and that he is short of men. Luckily however, Stalin is occupied with Eastern Germany and has postponed the date of the Decree to 1st July
24th June, 1945: Stout records that the working day has been extended from 4 a.m. to 20 p.m. Logistics are difficult and communication unreliable. There is a lack of trucks and those that are available break down. Packaging materials, food and billets are scarce and it rains. „All hands grumbling“
1st July, 1945: with no news on the boundaries for the future administrative, Stout and his crew continue working frantically
9th July, 1945: the administrative zones are agreed upon, with Altaussee falling under American administration so that there is no more danger of art works falling into Soviet hands
10th July, 1945: Michangelo’s Bruges Madonna and Jan van Eyck’s The Adoration of the Lamb are loaded onto a truck and transported to Munich
13th July, 1945: the consignment at Bad Ischl is loaded onto four trucks and taken to Munich which arrive that evening
19th July, 1945: at Altaussee Stout reports that in just under a month, 80 truckloads of 1,850 paintings, 1,441 cases of paintings and sculpture, 30 pieces of furniture and 34 large packages of textiles have been extracted and transferred to Munich
6th August, 1945: Stout leaves Europe on a steamer but work at Altaussee continues and the entire collection is successfully transferred to Munich. When Saint Vitus in a Vat and the two Krems paintings arrived in Munich is currently being investigated
16th October, 1946: in the Austrian newspaper, The Wiener Kurier, it is reported that artefacts from Krems that were in Altaussee have been delivered to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
21st October, 1946: the Krems town councilor, Theresia Mahrer, who is responsible for culture and education asks the Kunsthisorisches Museum in Vienna whether Altaussee artefacts from Krems Museum and Gottweig Abbey have been delivered. As the answer is negative, the request is forwared on to the Bundesdenkmal Amt (BDA) or State Monument Office, which is the new incarnation of the IDP. In Krems, the assumption all along appeas to have been that if the works are not in Vienna, then they are at Altaussee where they have been ever since being entrusted to the IDP in 1943
21th December, 1946: from the BDA, via from a lawyer, the Krems town councilors first learn that the works were transported to Munich and may now be in Kremsmunster. The council later learns from the BDA that as the items from Gottweig were illegally acquired by Museum Krems, the restoration of all items filed under the museum’s name is replete with complications
18th August, 1947: the Financial Directive of Lower Austria issues a decision of restitution
17th June, 1948: the impounding of the Museum Krems and Gottweig Abbey items is lifted
22st June, 1948: in Kremsmunster, Bad Aussee and Altaussee the Krems town councilor, Fritz Dworschak is handed over numerous aretfacts from Museum Krems and Gottweig Abbey
…….., 1955: a relief of Saint Barbara, the patron saint of miners, is set up outside the mine, showing her protecting cultural goods in times of emergency
At Reloading Humanism the 13,14,15 triangle is used as a symbol of how, in culture, following the example given by Piero della Francesca and the anonymous master of Saint Vitus in a Vat, the scientific and the mathematical must be combined with the artistic in ways that transcend the rational. This is because if we are to establish a balance between ourselves and the world around us, we must also find a balance between the sciences and the humanities and in ourselves, between the rational, the emotional and the intuitive. Only then can we create a sacred zone in which the rational, the emotional and the intuitive are combined so that, embracing ideals we may strive to do right in an informed and enlightened manner and have a chance of doing real good.
Sources: Zeitgeschichte – ein Beitrag zum Abbau von tauben Gestein: im Salzbergwerk by Christian Reder, in Ausseer Beiträge zur Zeit- und Kulturgeschichte, Steirisches Institut für Zeitgeschichte Bad Aussee, Bad Aussee, 1985. The Rape of Europa by Lynn Nicholas. The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel. This latter was the basis for the 2014 film of the same name and which features a star-studded cast. Showing up to date Austrian points of view are: Mission Michangelo by Konrad Kramar and the recent Austria/German film produced for television, Ein Dorf wehrt sich: das Geheimnis von Altaussee, which dates from 2019. See also: stillehelden-salzkammergut.at and www.smithsonianmag. For information on visiting the mine at Altaussee go to: www.salzwelten.at.