January 10, 2014 / 3:30 PM / 6 years ago

Composer Wagner's great granddaughter Iris dies at 71

BERLIN (Reuters) - Iris Wagner, great-granddaughter of composer Richard Wagner, died in Berlin on Thursday after a lengthy illness, her family told the Nordbayerischer Kurier. She was 71.

Born in Bayreuth, Germany, in 1942, Wagner was the daughter of Wieland Wagner, who with his brother Wolfgang led the Bayreuth Festival, devoted to Wagner’s works, after World War Two.

A painter, photographer, filmmaker and translator, Wagner sat on the board of trustees of the Richard Wagner Foundation, which was formed in 1973 to oversee the estate of the composer.

She mostly stayed in the background of the family squabbles that the Wagner clan is famous for, but in recent years she criticized the foundation for its decision-making process.

She opposed plans to expand the Richard Wagner Museum, which sits in the Wahnfried House, where Wagner grew up, and media reports at the time said she blocked plans for a cafe and gift shop near the composer’s grave, which is behind the house.

Reporting by Monica Raymunt; Editing by Erik Kirschbaum, Michael Roddy and Alison Williams

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