Los Angeles Times
May 17, 2003
Austria Again Tries to Stop Art Theft Case
By Anne-Marie O'Connor
Austria has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to stay a federal appellate
decision that would allow a Nazi art theft case to go forward in U.S. court.
Maria Altmann of West Los Angeles is suing Austria to reclaim paintings by
Gustav Klimt valued at $150 million and now owned by the Austrian National
Museum. Altmann claims that the paintings, stolen by the Nazis, belonged to
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on April 28 denied Austria's request for
reconsideration of a previous decision allowing the lawsuit to go to trial
in Los Angeles.
Austria has consistently argued that U.S. courts lack jurisdiction in the
case and said it would file a high court appeal if the case were allowed to
"This is yet another stall and delay tactic by Austria," said Randol
Schoenberg, Altmann's attorney. "My client is 87 years old. They want to
prevent her from having her day in court."
Schoenberg said he had been told that a decision on the stay would probably
be made next week.
Scott Cooper and Jonathan Rich, two attorneys representing Austria, could
not be reached for comment late Friday.