Row over Kokoschka oil painting

30th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

A businessman is demanding that a Ghent art gallery return a 1914 oil-painting by the Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka.

Victor Von Klemperer claims that his grandfather was forced to hand the painting by the Austrian Jewish expressionist over to the Nazis during the 1930’s.

It’s the first time that a Flemish museum has been on the receiving end of a claim from a victim of Nazi oppression.

The Ghent Museum of Fine Art has owned the painting for the past twenty years.

The museum bought the work after a Kokoschka exhibition in London in the late 1980’s.

The Belgian National Lottery and the Flemish Community both made a contribution to paying for the painting.

Mr Von Klemperer has now taken on a team of German solicitors to help him fight his case.

The City of Ghent and the Ghent Museum of Fine Art will seek advice from lawyers and art experts before deciding on their next move.

The painting is valued at 300,000 euros.

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