Austria wants expanded Holocaust art criteria



The Austrian government wants to expand criteria for the return of art the Nazis stole from Jews.

Austrian Culture Minister Claudia Schmied called Wednesday for a review of a law granting private art institutions an exemption from the seizure and return of looted Holocaust-era items.

Dropping the exemption would open up Vienna’s Leopold Museum to comprehensive inspection. The museum is state-funded but defined as a private foundation.

Current Austrian law allows for descendants of Jews who lost art to the Nazis to sue for the return of items that were confiscated between 1938, when Austria was annexed by Germany, and 1945, when World War II ended.

The government wants the date range broadened to include 1933, when the Nazis came to power, through 1945.


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