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An unknown Italian man identifying himself as a retired art thief has contacted the police in the northern city of Piacenza demanding €150,000 ($163,000) for the safe return of a Gustav Klimt painting.

According to Der Standard, the demand was made several days ago.

The artwork disappeared from the Galleria d'Arte Moderna Piacenza in February 1997 while the alarm system was incapacitated due to ongoing renovation work.

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"The Women of Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka," a stunning exhibition exploring the numerous and almost obsessive depictions of women painted by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka, has opened at the Belvedere Palace & Museum in Vienna.

Looking at Klimt, Schiele, and Kokoschka's approach to portraying women, the exhibition explores the Viennese society of the time, as well as the question of gender politics at the start of the 20th century, when both women and men's sexuality were undergoing a revolution.

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Venetian Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has revealed plans to sell off some of the city's artworks to help settle the municipality's mounting debts. The shortlisted works include notable paintings such as Gustav Klimt's Judith II (Salome) (1909).

According to Der Standard, Klimt's masterpiece, which hangs in the International Gallery of Contemporary Art in Ca ‘Pesaro, has been estimated to sell for €70 million ($79.6 million).

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When Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Gertrud Loew-Felsövanyi (1902) sold at Sotheby's London in June for $39 million, many speculated about the buyer's identity.

Now, an investigation conducted by the Austrian daily Der Standard has revealed that the painting was not bought by Ronald Lauder as was previously assumed. The buyer is Joe Lewis, a British billionaire who's made his fortune in foreign exchange market (forex) trading in the early 1990s.

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A painting by Gustav Klimt that has been in private hands for over a century will be auctioned at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale here on June 24. The work, “Portrait of Gertrud Loew,” painted in 1902, has an estimated sale price of 12 million to 18 million pounds (about $18 million to $28 million), and is for sale as a result of a settlement between the Felsovanyi family, the heirs of the painting’s subject, and the Klimt Foundation.

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In 2006, the art collector Ronald S. Lauder purchased Gustav Klimt’s “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” (1907) for $135 million, then the highest price paid for a painting, and made it the crown jewel of the Neue Galerie, the museum he founded in 2001. Since then other paintings have sold for considerably higher sums, adjusted for inflation, including those by Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin.

If some of the luster was lost from Klimt’s masterpiece as other works eclipsed its sale price, it is being renewed with the release of the movie “Woman in Gold.” It tells the tale of how Adele Bloch-Bauer’s niece, Maria Altmann (1916-2011), played by Helen Mirren, succeeded in gaining ownership of her aunt’s portrait from the Austrian government decades after it was looted by the Nazis and displayed by the Belvedere in Vienna.

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One of Gustav Klimt's most famous paintings should not be returned to the heirs of its original Jewish owners, an Austrian panel has ruled.

The "Beethoven Frieze" was looted by the Nazis but returned to the family of Jewish industrialist August Lederer after World War Two.

But it was subject to an export ban.

The heirs had argued this forced Lederer's son Erich to sell the work at a cut-rate price. The museum where it is now on display disputed this claim.

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A San Francisco gallery was stunned to discover that it had unknowingly bought a previously-unseen Gustav Klimt drawing.

The Lost Art Salon, which specializes in the rediscovery of fine art, bought a hoard of unidentifiable works on paper at a Bay Area auction last spring. During the research process, gallery staff discovered a series of drawings signed by Johannes and Maria Fischer, who were close friends of Egon Schiele. This clue led the researchers to believe that other pieces could be associated with other Viennese Secessionists.

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The Courtauld Gallery is presenting the first major museum exhibition in over 20 years of one of the 20th Century’s most exceptional artists, Egon Schiele (18901918). A central figure of Viennese art in the turbulent years around the First World War, Schiele rose to prominence alongside his avant-garde contemporaries, such as Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka. He produced some of the most radical depictions of the human figure created in modern times, reinventing the subject for the 20th Century. The exhibition charts Schiele’s short but transformative career through one of his most important subjects – his extraordinary drawings and watercolors of male and female nudes.

"Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude" concentrates on the artist’s drawings and watercolors. It brings together an outstanding selection of works that highlight Schiele’s technical virtuosity, highly original vision and uncompromising depiction of the naked figure.

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Friday, 12 September 2014 11:58

Heiress Might Sell Looted Klimt Painting

A portrait by Gustav Klimt could be put up for sale, potentially fetching over $30 million, to resolve a dispute between a Viennese art foundation and the granddaughter of the woman in the painting, a lawyer for the granddaughter said on Thursday.

Klimt, an Austrian symbolist, painted the portrait of Gertrud Loew in 1902 and it belonged to her at least until 1938, a year before she fled Austria to escape the Nazis.

Her U.S.-based granddaughter, Andrea Felsovanyi, has been contesting ownership with the private Klimt Foundation, which currently holds the work.

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