August 30, 2008
Anne Frank’s Collage in Hideout is Restored
By Toby Sterling
The Anne Frank House museum said Friday it has restored 52 photographs and images the Jewish teenager pasted on the wall of her room to cheer herself up while hiding from the Nazis.
The water-stained collage of celebrities of the day, such as Greta Garbo and the Lane Sisters, that Anne Frank created shortly after her family went into hiding has been seen by millions of visitors, offering them another view into the mind of the girl best known for her posthumously published diary.
"Our little room looked very bare at first with nothing on the walls," Anne wrote in an entry on July 11, 1942.
"But thanks to Daddy, who had brought my picture postcards and film-star collection . . . I have transformed the walls into one gigantic picture. This makes it look much more cheerful." One photo, of Olympic skater and Hollywood star Sonja Henie, had been out of place since an earlier renovation in the 1970s and has now returned to its original spot, said museum spokeswoman Annemarie Bekker.
An investigation of the pictures found that most were movie stars cut from the Dutch women's magazine Libelle, Bekker said.
Other images include postcards of Britain's Queen Elizabeth - when she was still a princess - and the Dutch royal family in exile.
As Anne grew older, she pasted over some of the glamor shots with reproductions of artwork by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
The pictures, more than 60 years old, have been undergoing restoration for a decade. They were removed in October 2007 when the wallpaper was taken down to be reinforced, and facsimiles hung in their place until last month.
They are now protected behind climate-controlled glass that Bekker said would guarantee their preservation for decades.
The Frank family hid in a cramped secret annex above an Amsterdam canal-side warehouse from July 1942 until they were betrayed in August 1944.
Anne died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp just weeks before it was liberated in the spring of 1945.
Originally published by Toby Sterling, Associated Press.
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