Actress Helen Mirren recognized by WJC for educating public about Nazi-looted art


(JTA) — Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren will receive an award for helping to educate the public about the issues surrounding Nazi-looted art.

The World Jewish Congress announced Tuesday that the star of the film “Woman in Gold,” would receive the inaugural WJC Recognition Award. The award will be presented by WJC President Ronald Lauder later this year.

The film tells the story of Maria Altmann, an Austrian-American woman who made headlines in 2006 for winning her legal battle against the Austrian government to reclaim five Gustav Klimt paintings, among them the famous “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” nicknamed “Woman in Gold.”

Following its restitution to Altmann in 2006, the painting was acquired by Ronald Lauder and is now on display at the Neue Galerie in Manhattan.

“The history of the ‘Woman in Gold’ painting exemplifies the immense suffering, painful loss and, for a prolonged period, the injustice that many Jews were subjected to during the 20th century. With the opening of this new movie, audiences can learn about the second half of the Nazi-looted art story: the postwar 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,” Lauder said in a statement.

Recommended from JTA