Austrian court to return art stolen by Nazis

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January 17, 2006 05:44
1 minute read.

 
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It was a seven-year legal struggle with dazzling stakes, five precious paintings by Austrian icon Gustav Klimt that a California woman says were stolen from her Jewish family by the Nazis. Now, a court ruling made public on Monday will likely resolve the high-profile case against Austria's government in her favor. The Austrian arbitration court determined the country is legally obligated to give the paintings to Maria Altmann, one of the heirs of the family who owned them before the Nazis took over Austria in 1938, the Austria Press Agency reported. Though the court's ruling is non-binding, both parties have previously said they will abide by it, and Austria's government is expected to give up the works of art that have been displayed for decades in Vienna's ornate Belvedere castle.

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