Vienna museum told to return Nazi-looted art

France 24 13 June 2011

An art commission charged with returning Nazi-plundered works has recommended a Vienna museum hand over five drawings by Schiele to the descendants of their Jewish owner, it was reported Monday.

The drawings by Austrian painter Egon Schiele (1890-1918) belonged to Viennese man Karl Maylander, who was deported to a Polish labour camp in 1941, according to culture ministry documents.

The works including "Maedchen mit Sonnenbrille" (Girl with Sunglasses) are held by the Albertina museum which has been asked to return them to Maylander's family, the Standard newspaper reported online.

The dealer knew Schiele who produced his portrait a year before the influential artist's death.

In November the art commission, set up by the Ministry of Culture, recommended that Vienna's Leopold Museum return several of its Schiele works to Maylander's relatives. It has yet to follow the ruling.

A law adopted in 1998 paved the way for the return of about 10,000 works stolen during the Third Reich, during which Austria was annexed in 1938.
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