22 Apr 2011

Museum to return Klimt painting

3:35 pm on 22 April 2011

An Austrian museum is set to return a Gustav Klimt painting to the grandson of its original owner, a victim of the Nazis during World War II.

The painting, Litzlberg on the Attersee, is thought to be worth up to €30 million, according to experts from the Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg.

The picture was once the property of Amalie Redlich, an Austrian Jew who was deported to Poland in 1941 and murdered by the Nazis, the BBC reports.

The Gestapo seized her property and sold the Klimt painting to a Salzburg art dealer, who swapped it for a picture in the Salzburg collection.

The museum now says it will return the painting to Mrs Redlich's grandson, 83-year-old Canadian Georges Jorisch.

The local assembly of Salzburg province has still to approve the restitution, though the handover is expected to go ahead.

The BBC says that under a 1998 restitution law, Austria has returned some 10,000 paintings confiscated by the Nazis to the descendants of their former owners.