This article has been published on Al Jazeera.
It might be news to some that London’s National Gallery is featuring an unreturned Nazi-looted painting from Austria in its current show “Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900.” Gustav Klimt’s beautiful unfinished portrait of Amalie Zuckerkandl, herself a Nazi victim, was owned by Amalie’s friend, the widower and Jewish sugar baron Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. In March 1938 Ferdinand was forced to flee Austria, and survived the war in Zurich, Switzerland. He died in November 1945. As he explained in his 1942 will, his “entire property in Vienna [had been] confiscated and sold off.” His heirs never found or recovered the portrait of Amalie. For the rest of the story, see Al Jazeera.