Museum pays $19m to settle case over painting stolen by Nazi agent

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A 12-year dispute has ended with an agreement that a 1912 oil painting will be returned to a Vienna museum and displayed with an acknowledgement that it was stolen from a Jewish art dealer by a Nazi agent.

The settlement calls for the Leopold Museum to own the painting entitled "Portrait of Wally" by Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele after paying $19 million (£12m) to the estate of Lea Bondi Jaray and allowing it to be displayed for three weeks at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in lower Manhattan.

The painting has been the subject of court proceedings in New York City since it was lent 12 years ago to the Museum of Modern Art in New York by the Leopold Museum. At least three times, a judge had ordered it returned to Austria without acknowledgement it had been stolen.

The deal comes less than a year after US District Judge Loretta A. Preska rejected the Leopold Museum's argument that the painting was not stolen property and days before she was to preside over a trial to decide whether the museum knew it was stolen property when it was brought into the United States in September 1997....

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