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Maria Altmann

Struggles continue over Klimt Nazi-loot lawsuit

Maria Altmann had urged an earlier trial date while in dispute with Austrian government

The judge presiding over a lawsuit in Los Angeles which is seeking to recover six Nazi-looted paintings by the artist Gustav Klimt from the Austrian National Gallery on behalf of US citizen Maria V. Altmann (see The Art Newspaper, No.150, p.4) has set a trial date of 1 November 2005.

The 88-year old plaintiff, Maria V. Altmann, had urged the judge to set a much earlier date for the trial. Most of the important investigation for the case was completed by Austria years ago, before its 1999 decision not to return the painting, she says. Austria’s efforts to throw out the suit had taken almost four years to resolve in court, she added.

Austria says it needed more time to prepare its case, including researching facts which might bear on any of its 19 newly raised defences.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Is Austria banking on Maria Altmann’s death?'