Well, I had very high hopes for being able to blog while in Israel and those were quickly dashed between the total lack of sleep and need to reflect on what we were seeing! So finally, now that we have been back for a week, I will start posting about the sights and visits that we had. We stopped over on the way and spent about 8 hours running around Vienna. This proved to be a terrific stop because we were able to link two different visits in Israel to what we saw in Vienna. We started at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna where the famous Klimt painting, The Kiss, is shown. Up until very recently, the Belvedere also housed a painting known as the Lady in Gold (seen above). And you can still see t-shirts and mugs bearing the likeness of this painting through downtown Vienna. But this painting is now longer there.
It turns out the Lady in Gold is actually The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, a well-known society woman in Vienna who commissioned the portrait at the turn of the century. Unfortunately for her and her heirs, Adele was Jewish. The painting was looted during the Holocaust, the name changed to hide its original identity, and it took a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2004 (Republic of Austria v. Altmann) to get this painting back to the family — a niece by the name of Maria Altmann. Read more »