Why is London’s National Gallery showing stolen art?main
E. Randol Schoenberg, grandson of the great composer and a lawyer specialising in restitution of art stolen by the Nazis, has drawn our attention to a Klimt portrait in the current National Gallery show, “Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900.”.
The portrait is of Amalie Zuckerkandl, member of a newspaper family with whom Gustav Mahler was notably friendly. It was given by Amalie to her friend, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, another Mahler acquaintance, and was stolen from him by the Nazis when he was forced to flee Austria in 1938.
The Austrian authorities have refused claims to return it to the legitimate owners. Randol Schoenberg has posted the family’s case for restitution here. It’s a powerful case. The National Gallery should search its conscience.