The owner of Montsalvat is seeking a court order to force its founder’s granddaughter to vacate one of the Melbourne artist colony’s properties.
Rhiannon Jorgensen has been living rent-free at Montsalvat’s former hobby farm at Christmas Hills, 20 kilometres east of the colony’s main Eltham centre. Its barn is often used to host music and literary events.
The Montsalvat Trust claimed Ms Jorgensen was last year issued with six letters requesting she vacate the property, in Melbourne’s outer north-east, but that she had not complied.
“The defendant [Ms Jorgensen] failed, neglected or refused to deliver up vacant possession of the property,” said a statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria last week.
Ms Jorgensen is a granddaughter of the late Justus Jorgensen, who with his friends established Montsalvat, with its neo-medieval stone buildings, in 1934.
In February last year, six months after her father, classical guitarist Sebastian Jorgensen, died, The Age reported that Montsalvat had first sent a letter to evict Ms Jorgensen.
At the time, the trust said it had decided to sell the farm and it claimed that Ms Jorgensen had no entitlement to stay there.
A trust spokeswoman said last year that the proceeds of the sale of the 11.5-hectare property, which a local real estate agent valued at between $800,000 and $1 million, would be invested in the future of Montsalvat.