Amendment to Restitution Law to be Adopted Before Summer

Austrian Federal Chancellery

Minister of Culture Claudia Schmied and Chairman of the Advisory Board on Restitution Clemens Jabloner presented the measures planned by the Federal Republic on March 26, 2008 to improve restitution. “Restitution of seized assets is an historic obligation which is being met by the Republic of Austria,” stated the Minister. “My aim is to establish clear policy rules regarding restitution by the Leopold Foundation.“ As a first step, provenance research has to be conducted by the Federal Republic. By the end of April, two restitution researchers, financed by the Federal Republic, are to start investigations of the Leopold Museum. There is “already a clear majority by the Managing Board in favor of this opening up”, said Schmied, who also interpreted statements by art collector Rudolf Leopold as a “highly positive and constructive signal.“ In an interview with the daily newspaper, “Die Presse,“ the head of the museum stated: “We will have independent experts examine the facts. I will certainly not ignore the origin of paintings against my better judgment.” However, in this interview Leopold also explained that he felt to be the target of unfair criticism.

“Clearly Stolen Art!”

Barbara Petsch

Die Presse (03/11/2008)

Leopold Museum. The Jewish Community (IKG) presents more official reports reflecting expert opinions on “expropriated works of art.” IKG President Ariel Muzicant is demanding that a law be established to settle the matter. Austrian Minister of Education Claudia Schmied promises it.

Austria and Israel Strengthen Research Cooperation

Federal Chancellery (04/14/2008)

Austria and Israel will strengthen cooperation in the field of science and research. This is the outcome of an official visit to Israel by Minister of Science Johannes Hahn. The main goals are to increase the mobility of students, graduates and fledgling researchers as well as to promote cooperation in basic research. To this end, an Austro-Israeli Science Day is to be held this year in Vienna.

Foreign Minister on 60th Anniversary of the Foundation of the State of Israel

Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (05/03/2008)

"Like no other state, Israel has been called into question and challenged from the day of its foundation. Between Galilee and Negev, generations of Israelis have contributed impressively to the development of the country and led it to outstanding achievements in many areas. During all my stays I have been impressed by Israel’s cultural wealth, traditions and creative power,” stated Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Foundation of the State of Israel on 8 May 2008.