The Jewish family that forced Austria to return five paintings by Gustav Klimt stolen from it by the Nazis have sold one for a world record price of $135 million and now must determine whether they want to sell the other four.
After World War II, Austria held on to the Klimt paintings that the Nazis took from the family, saying that Mrs. Bloch-Bauer had wanted the country to have them when she died in 1925 at age 43. But her husband Ferdinand willed the works to his survivors when he died in Switzerland in 1945.
In 2000, a niece of Mrs. Bloch-Bauer, Maria Altmann, now aged 90, launched a legal battle in the United States to have the paintings returned. In January, after several U.S. court rulings against Austria, an Austrian arbitration tribunal ruled in Altmann’s favor and the paintings were given to the family.
Billionaire Ronald Lauder bought the painting and is planning to have it on public dispay as the family wished. Its good to see that our recorved treasure from the rotten Nazi’s is breaking world records and making the headlines.