Vienna museum director quits in Nazi looted art row

October 30, 2013 18:47

VIENNA - The director of Vienna's Leopold Museum, home to extensive collections of work by Austrian artists such as Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, has quit in a row over Nazi-looted art.

Tobias Natter said he could no longer stay at the museum after some of its most senior staff joined a controversial new foundation associated with Klimt's illegitimate son, film director Gustav Ucicky, whose works included Nazi propaganda.

The so-called Klimt Foundation has 14 Klimt works - four oil paintings and 10 drawings. The ownership of at least one, a portrait of Gertrude Loew, has been disputed for years by her heirs, who say it was stolen by the Nazis and want it back.

The Leopold Museum has recently tried to open a new chapter in its history after fighting numerous claims and in some cases settling financially with heirs of the previous Jewish owners of art works stolen after Hitler's 1938 annexation of Austria.

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