Austrian panel recommends return of 7 works

A panel has recommended that seven paintings by Austrian artists contained in a prestigious Vienna art collection be returned because they were either seized by the Nazis or given up against the will of their Jewish owners.

The paintings — five by Egon Schiele of the 20th century and two by Anton Romako, a 19th-century artist — belong to the Leopold Museum Private Foundation.

The recommendations made public by the Culture Ministry Tuesday are nonbinding. The former owners of the paintings are Karl Maylaender and Moriz Eisler, both Jews who were persecuted by the Nazis. Names of possible heirs were not given.

Austria has returned looted works of art held by federal museums to their rightful owners or heirs, most of them Jewish, under a 1998 restitution law.