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Maria sat me down and served me Viennese coffee, with lots and lots of whipped cream, which seemed to be a key to longevity among Viennese centenarians.
She opened an enormous leather photos album, filled with sepia photos of people who looked like the cast of a Vienna Downton Abbey.
That was very helpful, as the quips confirmed a lot of things I had been told. For a long time Vienna officials wouldn’t speak to me.
Maria’s niece, Nelly Auersperg, who was one of the heirs to the paintings, had not spoken to any journalists about the case, or her story, when I approached her. I once followed the Belvedere director, Gerbert Frodl, out of his office and asked him personally to participate.
They all had fascinating memories, and letters and journals that mentioned Klimt and his patrons.
What was your first meeting with Maria Altmann like?The trial judge’s decision is a drastic action for any judge to take given the circumstances of this case.We will seek a full review of this case on appeal.” Zalkin said Campos moved to Mexico soon after allegations against him began to surface.After years of staying quiet, Lopez filed a lawsuit against Campos and the church in 2012.He is one of eight children who have accused Campos of sexually abusing them between 19, according to his lawsuit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, the entity that oversees Jehovah’s Witnesses churches.
Her struggle to reclaim Klimt masterpieces that Nazis had stolen from her family in Vienna paved the way, not just for a precedent-setting Supreme Court decision and one of most important restitutions of Nazi looted art in history, but for a long overdue telling of a story that had been too long concealed.