Egon Schiele with a Madonna figure in his studio in Vienna's 13th district. Photography, around 1915.

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Dispute over Nazi Confiscation of Austrian Art Collection Escalates

A database dedicated to pieces of art stolen from Jews during World War II has removed 63 pieces by the artist Egon Schiele.

The removal of a catalogue of works by the Austrian artist Egon Schiele from a database of art confiscated by the Nazis during World War II has stirred controversy, according to The New York Times. A number of experts on Schiele’s work lobbied the German Lost Art Foundation to take the artist’s work off its database, as they argue that the works remained with relatives of Frtiz Grünbaum, the Viennese art collector who owned the pieces and died in a concentration camp, until after the war.

The descendants of Grünbaum reject the dealers’ claims,  contending that Nazis confiscated Grünbaum’s Schiele collection in 1938. The foundation has sided with the dealers and their assertion that the Grünbaum family later sold the Schiele’s in the aftermath of the war. Removals are rare, making the foundation’s exclusion of the 63 Schiele works from the online database a particularly strong stance.

Read the full story at The New York Times