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Austrian court rules country must return Nazi-looted art

[JURIST] An Austrian arbitration court has ruled that the country must return $150 million in artwork to the heir of the family from whom the works were seized by the Nazis, bringing to a close a case that wound its way through both Austrian and US courts. Both parties agreed to abide by the ruling, issued Monday, a year and a half after the US Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report; opinion text] that Maria Altmann could sue Austria in US courts for possession of the artwork. The Supreme Court ruled that an exception in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 [text] applied to conduct prior to the Act's passage, opening the way for US citizens to sue foreign governments over looted property and war crimes. The controversy was prompted by a 1998 Austrian law that required museums to review their holdings for potentially looted property. AP has more.

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