Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza
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Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza
|Born||13 April 1921|
|Died||26 April 2002 (aged 81)|
Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Spain
Princess Teresa of Lippe-Weissenfeld
(m. 1946; div. 1954)
Nina Sheila Dyer
(m. 1954; div. 1956)
(m. 1956; div. 1965)
(m. 1967; div. 1984)
|Children||4, including Archduchess Francesca of Austria|
|Parent(s)||Heinrich, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon|
Margit, Baroness Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva
Hans Henrik Ágost Gábor, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva (13 April 1921 – 26 April 2002), a noted industrialist and art collector, was a Dutch-born Swiss citizen with a Hungarian title, a legal resident of Monaco for tax purposes, with a declared second residency in the United Kingdom, but in actuality a long-time resident of Spain, and son of a German father and a Hungarian and English American mother (related to Daniel M. Frost and John Kerry). His fifth and last wife, Carmen "Tita" Cervera, is a former Miss Spain titleholder.
Thyssen-Bornemisza was born in Scheveningen, Netherlands, the son of Heinrich Thyssen (1875–1947) and his first wife, Margit, Baroness Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva (1887–1971). The Thyssen family's fortune was built upon a steel and armaments empire: Heinrich Thyssen had abandoned Germany as a young man and settled in Hungary in 1905. In Budapest, Heinrich married the daughter of the king's Hungarian chamberlain Baron Gábor Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva (1859-1915) who, having no sons of his own, adopted Heinrich, the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary extending his father-in-law's baronial status in the Hungarian nobility to Hans Heinrich and his male-line descendants in 1907. Baroness Margit Bornemissza's grandparents were the Baron Albert Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva (1832-1899) and the Countess Gabriella Kornis de Gönczruszka (1834-1902).
With his father's death, Thyssen-Bornemisza inherited TBG (Thyssen-Bornemisza Group) Holdings N.V., a business empire that included oil, Bremer Vulkan (naval construction) and large parts of Rotterdam harbor, as well as a major art collection with hundreds of paintings of European masters from between the 14th and the 19th century.
Thyssen-Bornemisza was also an avid horse lover. From then on, his business was limited to art. He bought more old masters, from Duccio to Francisco Goya; and fifteen years after his father's death, he bought his first piece of modern art, a watercolor painting by Emil Nolde dated from between 1931 and 1935, starting the entry of 20th century's paintings in the collection (including Edgar Degas, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, and Fernand Léger). His preference however went to German Expressionism, and he soon became a real expert in painting.
First marriage and issue
He married firstly at Lugano-Castagnola, 1 August 1946, Austrian Princess Teresa of Lippe-Weissenfeld at Vienna (21 July 1925 – 16 July 2008), whose family had been reigning princes until the fall of the German Empire in 1918 (following their divorce on 14 May 1954, she married secondly in 1960 Prince Friedrich Maximilian von Fürstenberg (1926–1969), by whom she had further issue). Their only son was:
- Baron Georg Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon (b. Lugano-Castagnola, 19 March 1950), chairman of TBG (Thyssen-Bornemisza Group) Holdings N.V., who has one son by Countess Catharina Eleonore von Meran, daughter of Count Maximilian von Meran (born 1930) and his wife, Princess Colienne zu Schwarzenberg (born 1937):
- Simon Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon (b. Wien, 1 December 2001)
He married secondly at Colombo, Ceylon, or Paris, 23 June 1954, Anglo-Indian fashion model Nina Sheila Dyer (1930–1965), an heiress to properties in Ceylon; they had no children and divorced on 4 July 1956, pursuant to the settlement of which she received a château in France. She later married and divorced Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan and committed suicide in 1965.
Third marriage and issue
He married thirdly at Lugano-Castagnola on 17 September 1956 New Zealand-born British photographic and fashion model Fiona Frances Elaine Campbell-Walter (b. Takapuna, New Zealand, 25 June 1932). They divorced on 20 January 1965, and she went on to have a well-publicized relationship with Greek shipping heir Alexander Onassis, the only son of Aristotle Onassis. She was a daughter of Rear Admiral Keith McNeil Walter (later Campbell-Walter) (1904–1976) and his wife, Frances Henriette Campbell (1904 – ?), a maternal granddaughter of Sir Edward Campbell, 1st Baronet. Their children were:
- Baroness Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (born Lausanne, 7 June 1958), married at Mariazell, 31 January 1993 to Karl Habsburg-Lothringen, heir to the defunct Austro-Hungarian Imperial Throne, and had issue.
- Baron Lorne Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon (born 15 June 1963), who converted to Islam; he is the producer and director of the 2003 film, "Labyrinth" and executive produced "The Garden of Eden" in 2008. He is the Chairman of Thyssen Petroleum and founder of the Kallos Gallery in London.
Fourth marriage and issue
He married fourthly at Lugano-Castagnola, 13 December 1967, Liane Denise Shorto (b. Garça, São Paulo, 23 December 1942), a Brazilian banker's daughter, from whom he was divorced 29 November 1984. They had one son:
- Baron Wilfried "Alexander" August Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon (born Zurich 1974), unmarried and without issue.
He married fifthly at Daylesford, Gloucestershire, on 16 August 1985, María del Carmen Rosario Soledad Cervera y Fernández de la Guerra, popularly known as Carmen "Tita" Cervera, (born Sitges, Barcelona, 23 April 1943), who was Miss Spain in 1961. They had no children, but Hans Heinrich adopted her son, Alejandro Borja (born Madrid, 1980, son of Manuel Segura), who married at Barcelona, 11 October 2007 Blanca María Cuesta Unkhoff and had two children: Sacha Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon on 31 January 2008 and Eric Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon on 5 August 2010. His widow has also adopted two baby girls, twins, called Guadalupe Sabina and María del Carmen in July 2006.
As part of an attempt to dissolve a trust, thereby acquiring control of her third husband's assets, Tita cast doubt on the paternity of Baron Georg Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, alleging that his father was actually Count Iván Batthyány de Német-Ujvár, the husband of Thyssen's sister, Countess Margit Batthyány. However, a settlement was reached between the parties before the baron's death, which brought to a "peaceable" conclusion the wrangling over control of the vast Thyssen art collection, which is to remain in Spain, Hans Henrik having been the founder of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. One of the paintings in the museum, Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon, Effect of Rain by Camille Pissarro, belonged to a Jewish couple who gave it to the German government in exchange for an exit visa to the United Kingdom shortly after Kristallnacht in 1939. By 2015, their descendants had filed a lawsuit against the museum, on the grounds that it was stolen by the Nazis.
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|Ancestors of Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza|
- Thyssen family
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum - museum link
- Exame - Negócios em Revista, April, 1989, Ano 1, N.º 1
- The Ancestors of Senator John Forbes Kerry (b. 1943)
- Boletín Oficial Estado
- Torok, Ryan (December 12, 2016). "Pasadena trial focuses on Nazi-looted masterpiece". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
- Kendall, Jonathan (2002-04-28). "Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, Industrialist Who Built Fabled Art Collection, Dies at 81". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
- Profile by Taki for The Spectator, 4 May 2002
- Ancestors of Baroness Francesca Anne Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kaszon
- Ancestors of Archduchess Eleonore of Austria
- Ancestors of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria
- Ancestors of Archduchess Gloria of Austria
- Marek, Miroslav. "Thyssen-Bornemissza de Kászon et Impérfalva Family". Genealogy.EU.