Museum Pays Millions To Keep Painting

A leading Viennese museum has paid $19 million to hold on to a painting by Expressionist legend Egon Schiele.

"Portrait of Wally", which depicts the artist's mistress, has been at the heart of a thirteen-year legal dispute. The painting was initially seized by U.S. officials whilst on loan to New York in 1997.

Vienna's Leopold Museum has always insisted that the painting was purchased in good faith from a legitimate post-war owner.

However, the relatives of Lea Bonda Jaray, an Austrian Jewish art dealer who died in 1969, claim that the painting was initially taken under duress by a Nazi collector, just before Mrs Jaray fled the country in 1937.

The ruling follows on from the removal of several Klimts from the Belvedere Gallery in a similar case in 2006.

The Austrian government is itself is trying to encourage transparency and compensation with regards to looted art.


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