U.S. Supreme Court to hear case on art stolen in Nazi era

Maria von Altmann, in California, has sued the Austrian Gallery (whatever that is) and the Austrian state over six Gustav Klimt paintings. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the case can be heard in the USA if the claims are proved. The Supreme Court of the U.S.A. has announced that it will hear the appeal, in order to define when foreign governments can be sued in U.S. courts. (See report on CBS News, via Legal Reader).

1 thought on “U.S. Supreme Court to hear case on art stolen in Nazi era

  1. Another similar and disturbing case was reported in an August edition of the UK Independent newspaper – undated in the cutting someone sent me.

    The family of the late Austrian refugee Jenny Steiner, Jewish widow and friend of the Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele, wants the return of his Häuser am Meer painting valued at GBP 10m and hanging at the Leopold Museum in Vienna. Lord Janner QC, chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, has queried the gallery’s claim that, as a ‘private’ gallery, it is exempt from the 1998 Austrian law allowing (NB not forcing) the return of looted art in public collections. Though private in theory, it is, in fact, totally government funded and half of its directors govt.-appointed. Lord Janner had asked Britain’s Minister for Europe, Denis MacShane, to intervene.

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