Published: July 31, 2010

The Vienna Museum Leopold will pay $19 one million for Egon Schiele's picture «Walley's Portrait»

New York. 12-year dispute which showed how it is difficult to prove that nazis stole objects of art during the Second World War, ended on Tuesday. The parties came to the agreement that the picture of 1912, under the name «Walley's Portrait», will be returned in the Vienna Museum and will be exposed on display with the note that it was stolen at the Jewish dealer in the fascist agent.

Leopold's museum will receive a picture of the Austrian artist Egon Schiele in possession after payment of 19 million dollars to the management of a manor of Li Bondi Dzharaya. Also the museum will be obliged to allow picture display within three weeks in the Museum of the Jewish Heritage in Manhattan.

Egon Schiele, Bildnis Wally, 1912, auf Holz, 32,7 x 39,8 cm, Inv.Nr. 453, Leopold Museum, Wien

The picture became the reason of judicial proceedings between Leopold's Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York 12 years ago. At least three times the judge passed the decision in favor of return of a picture to Austria, but without notice about theft.

The American prosecutor Prit Bkharara declared that the agreement between the Leadership of the USA, Leopold and Imeniyem Dzharaya Museum is «one more small step towards justice in relation to theft victims at the time of World War II».

The transaction took place less than in a year after the judge from the USA, Lauretta Preska refused to Leopold's Museum publication of information on picture theft. Some days before it the judge solved in court, whether knew in Leopold's Museum that the picture is stolen when it brought to States, in September, 1997.

In January, 1998, the prosecutor's office of Manhattan began investigation and found out that a picture stole more than half a century back when Dzharaya forced to sell it to the fascist collector for nothing.

After that, the state judge forbade withdrawal of a picture and the decision of appeal court didn't give permission to masterpiece return, having seized it. The federal prosecutor's office received the picture general warrant.

The picture was one of one hundred Modern Arts rented by the Museum at Leopold's Fund on a three-months exhibition which ended on January 4, 1998. At that time cost of "Walley's Portrait" was estimated at 2 million dollars.

Leopold's museum always insisted that they received a picture of own will one of honest post-war owners.

Henry Bondi from Princeton, New Jersey declared that a picture took away from his Jewish aunt when it ran to London, because of capture of Austria by German armies in 1939. She died in 1969. Henry Bondi too already died.

Advocaat Muzeya Leopold didn't comment on a situation.

Under the agreement, Bondi's representatives will obtain compensation at a rate of the valid cost of a picture.

Also in the agreement it is noted that public display of a picture in the Museum of the Jewish Heritage will allow visitors to see a reminder on victims of the Holocaust and firmness of those who managed to run away and survive.

«Justice triumphed» is told in the statement. «At last, after 70 with superfluous years, about Li Bondi Dzharaya's sufferings learn, and to some extent will pay for them».

By AnnaDanko,  


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