Maria Atanasiu was born in 1912. Along with her daughter, she was the legal heir to some property in Bucharest. The property was seized by the communist regime in 1950.
However, after the fall of communism in Romania, a series of laws were passed giving people the right to claim back property that had been nationalised by the authoritarian regime or obtain compensation.
After 1990, the family tried to claim their property back. Yet by 2010 their case was still unresolved.
Tens of thousands of Romanians were in a similar position. After making claims for the return of property, they were faced by legal barriers and long delays – many lasting over a decade. The European Court received hundreds of complaints about the problem.