21 Apr 2009

Austria to return painting to heirs of Nazi victim

2:50 pm on 21 April 2009

The city of Linz in Austria is to return a masterpiece painted by Gustav Klimt to the heirs of a Jewish woman killed in the Holocaust.

Linz Mayor Franz Dobusch has recommended the 1911 painting, believed to be worth around $US19 million, be transferred from an art gallery to the descendants of Aranka Munk.

An independent expert has confirmed the painting was seized from Mrs Munk by the Nazis after she was deported to a concentration camp where she died in 1941.

Museums in Linz and the city council are expected to confirm the decision by June.

A Vienna lawyer applied in 2007 for the return of the painting of Mrs Munk's daughter Ria, which made its way into Linz's collection from an art dealer after World War 2.