Author: Research team

In the News: In Case Over Nazi-Looted Art, Dispute Over $1.4M in Prejudgment Interest Heats Up

“As long as they continue to assert title, we can’t sell the artworks,” said the lawyer for the
Jewish heirs to an Austrian 1920s art collector who had owned the Egon Schiele paintings
before the Nazis imprisoned him.

The heirs are claiming that interest on the artworks they
won possession of continues to grow as the interest amount is disputed and leave for appeal
on the merits is sought.

Law Journal
Übersetzung NYL-Joural

Here a rough german translation

Übersetzung NYL-Joural

In the News: Provenance Research: Many Unanswered Questions at the Leopold Museum – Provenienzforschung: Viele offene Fragen im Leopold-Museum

The question of whether there is looted art in the Leopold Museum Vienna has lost none of its topicality. By next year’s 20th anniversary of the museum, not even 90% of the collection, some 3,760 works of art, willl have been researched.

The ongoing need for provenance research is part of the government’s funding programme despite the museum being a special case as it is not state-owned but a private foundation. It is however state-funded and since 2008 the government has financed 1.5 research positions.The dossiers on 312 works of art compiled by the two researchers Sonja Niederacher and Michael Wladika were submitted to an independent commission, but in the majority of cases the commission deemed that the status of the works could “not be assessed according to the current state of knowledge”.

Read more

In the News: Dissecting the HEAR Act

“For years, now, Grünbaum’s heirs have fought to bring home works that were once part of his collection; however, they have faced a lot of push back and failure in the process. In 2005, an attempt to restitute Seated Woman With Bent Left Leg (Torso) by Schiele was thwarted when the court deemed that too much time had passed for Grünbaum’s heirs to lay claim to it. In 2015, Grünbaum’s heirs began the process of seeking the return of Schiele’s Woman in a Black Pinafore (1911) and Woman Hiding her Face (1912). Thanks to the HEAR Act, the case was heard and, in his ruling, Judge Ramos stated: ‘The HEAR Act compels us to help return Nazi-looted art to its heirs […] the gut-wrenching process by which Mr. Grünbaum’s property was looted.’”

Read the whole article here:

In the News: Austrian Performer’s Heirs Found to Have Superior Right to Looted Schiele Works

…Under New York law, Nagy could only receive good title to the artworks from a seller with good title to give. Since no evidence was presented to show anyone involved in the sale of the works since Grünbaum’s death had good title, Nagy was unable to prove he held title superior to the heirs…

Die deutsche Übersetzung des Artikels befindet sich am Ende des Posts.

20190823 New York Appellate Court Upholds Purpose of HEAR Act_ Austrian Performer’s Heirs Found to Have Superior Right to Looted Schiele Works _ Institute of Art and Law
20190823New York Berufungsgericht unterstützt das Ziel des HEAR Act -de

NY Appeals Court Explains Why Nazi-Stolen Paintings Belong With Gruenbaum’s Heirs

In a deeply researched opinion that it appears could embolden legal efforts by Jewish heirs to reclaim Nazi-stolen art worldwide, a state appeals court Tuesday ruled that two highly valued early 20th century paintings looted by the Nazis belong to the heirs of the Austrian Jewish entertainer who first collected them.

NY Appeals Court Explains Why Nazi-Stolen Paintings Belong With Jewish Collector's Heirs _ New York Law Journal

Austria – Great shift of paradigm in Restitution

It is extraordinarily gratifying that the Advisory Board of the Commission for Provenance Research in the Gertrude Felsoevanyi case has come up with a paradigm shift in the return of looted art which is in possession of the Republic of Austria.

Until now, a formal confiscation had to be proved, but now the German view of restitution is shared, namely that the loss due to persecution is decisive for restitution.

This view is taken with a delay of 25 years, but nevertheless …Chapeau!

It is also noteworthy that the decision is a revision of an earlier decision and that this revision is not based on previously unknown evidence, but on a different view from that taken 18 years ago.

It now remains to be seen to what extent the Commission for Provenance Research will revise and, if necessary, correct its own earlier decisions.

As there is no right of application, the Commission for Provenance Research must take action of its own – hopefully it will!

English Translation is added in the end of the document
Felsoevanyi_Gertrude_2019-04-12 EN und Deutsch