Settlement sought with heirs on Klimt painting

Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1883-1964), 'Portrait of Gertrud Loew,' 1902, reproduced from art book by Lizenziert under public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1883-1964), ‘Portrait of Gertrud Loew,’ 1902, reproduced from art book by Lizenziert under public domain via Wikimedia Commons

VIENNA (AP) – The present Austrian owners of a valuable Gustav Klimt painting say they plan to reach a fair settlement with Jewish heirs of the family who left the artwork behind as they fled the Nazis.

The “Bildnis Gertrud Loew” (Portrait of Gertrud Loew” is valued at up to 19.3 million euros ($25 million.) It was abandoned by Gertrud Felsoevary and her family after Austria was annexed by Hitler’s Germany in 1938 and is now in the possession of the Klimt Foundation.

Foundation members said Wednesday that they want to reach a “fair and just” solution after a committee of experts deemed that the picture fell under Austrian restitution laws.

The foundation says it hopes to buy the portrait but also has left open its return to the heirs.

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