May 12, 2011
Leopold settles with heir over Schiele painting
The Leopold Museum has agreed to settle with one of the heirs of an Austrian Jewish art collector for her share in a valuable painting.
The museum based in Vienna will pay $5 million to the granddaughter of Austrian Jewish art collector Jenny Steiner for her share in the 1914 painting “Houses by the Sea” by Austrian painter Egon Schiele. The painting was looted by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
Steiner left Austria after it was annexed by the Nazis in 1938 and settled in the United States. The painting was acquired by Rudolf Leopold, who founded the museum, in 1955.
The museum had offered to pay Steiner’s heirs $25 million, but they had demanded restitution of the painting. The museum is a private institution, however, and is not subject to the restitution law.
Though the museum settled with one granddaughter, two other groups of descendants have not settled, the French news agency AFP reported.