Klimt Foundation and heir seek ‘just and fair’ solution

Posted on: September 16, 2014 by

Recent reports have come out involving a 1902 portrait of Gertrud Loew by Gustav Klimt that had allegedly been taken by the Nazis in Austria from the painting’s subject and owner. Loew had left Austria for the United States in 1939 following the Anschluss of the previous year. It is unclear exactly what happened to the portrait, but it has since ended up in the collection of the Klimt Foundation in Vienna.

Now it appears as though the granddaughter of Loew and the Klimt Foundation are in the process of seeking a ‘just and fair’ solution following a recommendation by the Beirat, Austria’s advisory board on the restitution of works spoliated during the Nazi era, which determined that the painting had been looted and should be returned. Estimates of the painting’s worth vary from $18 million to $30 million (£11 million to £19 million).

The lawyer of Loew’s granddaughter has released statements urging that the painting be sold and the proceeds divided up amongst the parties. It is unclear upon what basis this could (or should) be done.