Don’t we all love knowing little bits of trivia about our hometown, in this case Cheviot Hills!
Perhaps you’ve seen the movie that is out in theatres called, ‘Woman in Gold,’ starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, it is the riveting tale of how Jewish refugee Maria Altmann (Mirren) successfully fought to reclaim Klimt paintings that belonged to her family but were seized by the Nazis. One painting in particular, “The Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer” (otherwise known as “The Woman in Gold,”) features Altmann’s aunt. While the Austrian government claimed the painting was part of their national pride and culture, Altmann considered it a family portrait that was wrongfully stolen during the Nazi’s regime. Altmann and her attorney, Los Angeles native Randy Schoenberg, took the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
After a lengthy battle, Schoenberg successfully argued for the painting’s return and won the case. The Austrian government returned the Woman in Gold to Altmann and it is now permanently on display in the Neue Gallery in New York City.
Here is an interesting fact you may not have known: Maria Altmann lived on Danalda in Cheviot Hills! She lived in Cheviot Hills after relocating from New
York and died at the ripe old age of 94, twelve years after beginning her battle against the Austrian government to reclaim her beloved paintings. She was not only a great defender of human rights but also a much admired neighbor in Cheviot Hills and now her story will live on, helping to shed light on not just the Nazi’s atrocities but how justice can ultimately persevere.