Recovering Nazi loot
The week's news at a glance.
An elderly Los Angeles woman this week won the right to sue the Austrian government to recover six Gustav Klimt paintings seized by the Nazis. Maria Altmann, 88, had been trying to recover the art, valued at $150 million, since 1998. The Austrian government said Altmanns aunt bequeathed them to the Austrian Gallery, and that U.S. law barred a private citizen from suing a foreign government. But the U.S. Supreme Court said the rule didnt apply to war booty. The paintings were taken from the home of Altmanns uncle Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a Jewish sugar magnate who fled Vienna in 1938, just before Hitler annexed Austria. It is totally wonderful that justice seems to prevail, Altmann said.