A few weeks ago I contacted Cliff Fraser and offered to resolve the issue of the stolen Mahler photo by purchasing it for $20,000. He countered by demanding $120,000 and I decided not to pursue it further. There is still no reason to think the photo wasn’t stolen from our home in Brentwood or loaned somewhere by my grandmother and never returned after she died of cancer in 1967. (Just this year the Edinburgh Festival returned a bunch of photos and a diagram for Gurrelieder that were loaned in 1961.)
Now Cliff has decided to try to the sell the photo on ebay. It looks like he is being assisted by someone with the listing, because in previous correspondence he has been less than articulate. The listing was picked up by Norman Lebrecht on Slipped Disc, who then also reported that the photo appears to have been stolen. If no one purchases it, maybe Cliff will come to his senses and at least accept my generous offer of a reasonable price for the return of the photo. Unfortunately, to date he has been acting more like the original thief than simply the grandson who found the stolen photo buried in his grandmother’s boiler room.