Re: U.S. Appeals Court Rules Spanish Museum May Keep Nazi Looted Art #holocaust #announcements


Kate Haas
 

I find this decision to be incorrect. We had a family member, Lea Bondi Jaray, who owned an art gallery in Vienna in 1938. She and her husband decided to leave for London and bought tickets to take a train to Calais, then London. A Nazi collaborator came to her gallery and looked over her paintings. He said, “You do want to be able to get on your train tomorrow, right? I really like this piece by Egon Schiele - a portrait called “Wally”. I’m sure you would like to give it to me.” He offered her a couple of Marks for it and walked out with it under his arm. Long story short, after the war, the picture ended up in the Belvedere Art Museum in Vienna. Mrs. Jaray came from England numerous times to try and reclaim her painting to no avail. She died and eventually the painting came with an exhibit to MOMA. At the urging of the Issac-Bondi family, Senator Domenico of NY had the painting seized by the US Customs agency as looted art, and the family began a law suit. Eventually, at the family’s request the painting was returned to the Belvedere Museum upon the payment of $19 million to the family. There is a plaque beneath the painting indicating this. As I recall, the legal argument was the threat of being unable to emigrate unless the painting was sold to the Nazi for a few sou. 

The issue around the Spanish Museum painting sounds very similar. This family’s lawyers should look into the Bondi-Jaray case, decided in New York State. 

Kate Haas

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