Gawking at $135 Million in Nazi Loot

 

Gawking at $135 Million in Nazi Loot

Ronald Lauder’s passion is art. The younger son of cosmetics mogul Estée Lauder and worth $3.3 billion, Ronald Lauder bought an elegant Fifth Avenue mansion across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and turned it into the Neue Gallery dedicated to German and Austrian art. In June 2006 he privately acquired one of the most extraordinary pictures in the world—a 1907 portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, wife of a wealthy Viennese industrialist, painted by Austrian master Gustav Klimt. It had been looted by the Nazis during World War II and, when repatriated, wound up in a museum in Vienna. The Austrian government fought