The Klimt row continues: Swedish family are the latest to claim rightful ownership of work exhibited at National Gallery
The unfinished portrait was taken by the Nazis in 1939
Paul Gallagher is a reporter for the Independent and Independent on Sunday having joined the group in 2012. He has previously worked for the European Voice, Daily Mirror and the Observer and been based in Brussels, Belfast, Tokyo and London.
Sunday 27 October 2013
A Swedish family has stepped into the growing international row over the provenance of a Gustav Klimt painting currently being exhibited at the National Gallery in London, and claimed rightful ownership of a work taken by the Nazis in 1939.
Descendants of Amalie Zuckerkandl, whose unfinished portrait is the centrepiece of Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna in 1900, say they should receive the artwork when the exhibition finishes in January. Austria was awarded ownership by an arbitration panel in 2007.
The Swedes' intervention follows a report in last week's IoS that a US-based lawyer, E Randol Schoenberg, was pressing for the unfinished portrait to be returned to the Austrian family that he claims are its rightful owners.
In a letter to the gallery and seen by The Independent on Sunday, Carl Magnus Lilienberg, representing the Müller Hofmanns in Stockholm, writes: "(My clients') Jewish grandmother Hermine Müller Hofmann was the daughter of Amalie Zuckerkandl. Hermine Müller Hofmann owned and possessed the painting [and] was forced to 'sell' it for an unreasonable low price to raise money to escape the Nazis."
Mr Schoenberg dismissed the claim by the Müller-Hofmann family, calling it "as laughable as the decision by the arbitration panel".
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'We're starting to see his demise'
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
V&A removes depiction of Prophet Mohamed from website amid 'severe security alert'
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd