Anne Frank Fund tries to stop musical based on her life
Legal action is now possible against Spanish producers of show, less than a month ahead of its premiere
Sunday 03 February 2008
The legal guardians of Anne Frank's memory have stepped in at the 11th hour to try to stop a controversial Spanish musical about the life of one of the Holocaust's best-known victims going ahead.
Rafael Alvero, producer of The Diary of Anne Frank: A Song to Life, which is in rehearsal for its opening in Madrid, claims he spent 10 years obtaining approval for the first song and dance version of the teenage diarist's story. But the Swiss-based Anne Frank Fund, headed by the only living member of the family, Bernard "Buddy" Elias, is demanding a halt to the show.
Christopher Knoch, a member of the fund's board, said: "The Anne Frank Fund has granted no rights for the musical by Rafael Alvero. On the contrary, we have requested him to desist from such a production." The fund could take legal action to stop the musical's premiere on 28 February.
Mr Alvero appears to have fallen foul of a long-running battle over Anne Frank's legacy. The fund holds the copyright to Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, which has sold more than 30 million copies in 60 languages.
It also controls the rights to film and theatrical productions and guards them jealously: even Steven Spielberg was turned down when he wanted to make a film about the diarist, who hid in an Amsterdam house with her family and four other Jews during the Second World War. In 1944 they were betrayed to the Nazis and sent to the death camps. Only Otto Frank, Anne's father, survived.
Otto Frank set up two bodies to perpetuate his daughter's memory. In Amsterdam the family's hiding-place was turned into a museum, run by the Anne Frank Foundation, which also undertakes worldwide education projects on the Holocaust.
But the money from her book and all adaptations of it goes to the fund in Switzerland, where Otto Frank ended his days. This has caused tension in the past with the Amsterdam-based body, which complained that it was chronically short of funds.
A decade ago, the two organisations faced each other in a Swiss court. The fund claimed that the foundation was trespassing on its territory by copyrighting the name of Anne Frank around the world. The museum said this was necessary to stop its educational materials being plagiarised, but the Swiss body said Anne Frank's name could end up on souvenir pencils and T-shirts. The court decided in favour of the foundation, however.
Mr Alvero said he first had the idea of presenting Anne Frank's story as a musical when he visited the Anne Frank Museum with his 13-year-old son, David. He spent the next decade convincing the foundation, as well as potential backers, that such a production would be tasteful.
"I took my time to persuade the foundation, which has now seen that it is a responsible work," he said in an interview earlier this year. "We managed to convince Anne's only living relative, her cousin, Buddy Elias." He declined to comment after the broadside from Mr Elias's Anne Frank Fund, referring questions to the Anne Frank Foundation.
Jan Erik Dubbelman, of the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam, said: "This production respects the message of tolerance within the tragedy that we want to keep alive."
The strong feelings aroused by the teenager's testament were emphasised last month when a chestnut tree she mentions in her diary was saved after a legal wrangle in Amsterdam. The tree, which she could glimpse from her hiding place, was due to be cut down, but will be propped up with steel beams at a cost of £35,000.
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
David Cameron explains selfie with Obama and Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Mandela Memorial
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Krokodil in Mexico? Teenager hospitalised after 'injecting drug into her genitals'
Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 John McAfee's $100 'anti-NSA' device: 'this is coming and cannot be stopped'
- 4 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories
- 5 Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- < Previous
- Next >
£77099.84 - £96375.26 per annum + Bonus + Benefits : Harrington Starr: My clie...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Package: Harrington Starr: Trading appli...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Developer (Win...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Engineer Tes...