Nazi-Looted Art Should be Returned by Museum, Austrian Commission Rules

Austria’s Leopold Museum should return seven Nazi-looted paintings by Egon Schiele and Anton Romako to their rightful owners, said an art commission set up by the country’s Ministry of Culture.

Five Schiele paintings and two Romako works should be returned, the ministry said yesterday on its website. The paintings had belonged to Maurice Eisler and Karl Maylaender, both Jews persecuted by Nazis, according to the commission. The decision is non-binding.

The Leopold Museum, which paid $19 million earlier this year to settle a Schiele restitution case, has said it wants to complete research into the provenance of its entire art works by the end of the year. Diethard Leopold, the chair of the museum’s foundation, estimates that up to 50 works may be affected.

Leopold Museum spokesman Klaus Pokorny didn’t immediately return a telephone call and e-mail message seeking comment.

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