According to the article linked below, Austria's Provenance Commission has recommended the return of artwork stolen by the Nazis, but then blocked in Austria by a post-War export ban. After World War II, Austrian museums used the export ban to systematically extort Jews of their property.
Today, American museums that hold property stolen from Jews systematically extort them in one-sided "settlements" wrapped in great confidentiality, and bury the research to conceal the wrongdoing of the museum's former trustees and employees. History will view this practice of systematic extortion by the members of the American Association of Museums with the same horror that we view the post-War extortion practices of the Austrian museums.
Austria also let the Leopold Museum keep an extorted work on the false pretext that the government of Austria doesn't own the Leopold Museum, so a law covering "federal museums" doesn't cover it. This is a scandalous lie, since the government of Austria purchased Leopold's collection and will assume complete control of it on the death of Leopold and his wife.
Leopold brought the stolen Schiele Portrait of Wally into the United States and is supposed to stand trial this summer on the issue of whether or not he knew it was stolen when he brought it here.
Austria Urges Return of Altar Panels to Jewish Heir (Update1)
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Friday, June 11, 2010
Labels: american association of museums, art law, art litigation, austrian restitution, museums, nazi art looting, rudolph leopold, stolen art, stolen art in museums
Partner in Manhattan law firm Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP in New York City litigating in federal and state courts and arbitrations. Experienced trial and appellate practitioner. Author: Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters 2015-2016). The New York Law Journal called it "an indispensable guide". Serve on the Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Association, served as Chair of the Circuit Vice Presidents, Vice President for the Second Circuit and General Counsel. Member Board of Governors, National Arts Club. President, Network of Bar Leaders (2013-2014). Attorney advertising disclaimer - prior results do not guarantee success. The statements and opinions voiced here are my own and not of my law firm.