The Kansas City Star writes an obituary for Maria Altmann who won her case against the Austrian National Gallery to restitute Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer:
Altmann was an 82-year-old grandmother living in Cheviot Hills in 1998 when she enlisted Schoenberg, an attorney who was the son of a friend, to investigate the Nazi theft of her Jewish family’s Klimt collection. The collection included Klimt’s famous “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer,” hanging in the Austrian National Gallery.
The seemingly unwinnable battle took Altmann and Schoenberg to the U.S. Supreme Court – which ruled that the case could go forward. An Austrian mediation panel ultimately awarded Altmann and four other heirs the five Klimt paintings in January 2006.
“They delay, delay, delay, hoping I will die,” Altmann said in 2001. “But I will do them the pleasure of staying alive.”