Oscar-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren will be honoured by the World Jewish Congress for her portrayal of an Austrian Jewish lady who finally won her battle to recover Nazi-looted art nine years ago.
In her new film ‘Woman in Gold,’ Mirren plays Maria Altmann, the niece of the rightful Jewish owner who was forced to flee Nazi-occupied Austria, leaving his collection of Klimt paintings behind, including the famous Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, nicknamed ‘Woman in Gold.’
Mirren said she was “utterly moved” to receive the award later this later, adding: “Preserving Maria Altmann’s legacy has been a truly exceptional experience from the start.”
Ronald Lauder, the American Jewish billionaire who later bought the painting to display in New York, said: “It exemplifies the immense suffering, painful loss and prolonged injustice that many Jews were subjected to during the 20th century.”
He added: “Audiences can now learn about the second half of the Nazi-looted art story: the post-war art grab by governments and museums that willfully continued the Nazi theft, both by hiding the art from the rightful owners or their heirs and by fighting the victims in court to keep the artworks.”