The Austrian city of Salzburg celebrates 250 years since the birth of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is thought to have been one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time. He wrote his first compositions at the age of five and his first opera at the age of eleven. The Austrian city of Salzburg is celebrating the 250th anniversary of his birth and hopes to attract tourism and revenue for in the process.

One of the most gifted musicians humanity has ever produced.

The anniversary celebrations should see six hundred thousand extra tourists visit Salzburg bringing in around €50 million. Every conceivable Mozart related souvenir is on sale from Mozart chocolate balls to a violin shaped Mozart sausage. For many true fans of his music, this commercialism is blatant exploitation of his legacy. As Mozart has no surviving family, his name is open to use by anyone and is being commercially exploited to the hilt.

Mozart mania is unstoppable.

The year long celebrations will also see new recordings, books and performances of Mozart's work across the city of Salzburg.

The child prodigy and genius of the enlightenment was born on 27 January 1756 and died on 5 December 1791 at the age of 35.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 January 2006. The reporter is Tony Connelly.