Austria rules against Klimt claim

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Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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An Austrian panel has ruled against returning one of the country’s most stunning works of art to heirs of the original Jewish owner.

The Beethoven Frieze is being claimed by heirs of Erich Lederer.

It was painted by Austrian symbolist Gustav Klimt directly on the walls of Vienna’s Secession Building and is on permanent display there.

The panel, which examines claims from heirs of art works expropriated by the Nazis, has no enforcing powers and can only make recommendations. But these are normally acted on by the government.

The frieze was restituted to Mr Lederer after the war.

But the heirs claim that he was in effect forced to sell it to the government for an unrealistically low price because of laws prohibiting the export of major art works.

Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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