Estate of Lea Bondi Jaray – “Portrait of Wally” Restitution

After over ten years of litigation, our client, the Estate of Lea Bondi Jaray, achieved a very favorable settlement in the case of United States v. Portrait of Wally, which has been credited with being one of the first to focus the world's attention on the problem of Nazi-looted art. Egon Schiele's Portrait of Wally was stolen in the late 1930's from Lea Bondi Jaray, a Jewish art dealer and collector, by a Nazi agent. The settlement compensates the heirs for the true value of the painting—$19 million—and provides for permanent signage acknowledging the painting's true provenance to be placed next to the painting after it is returned to the Leopold Museum in Vienna. The painting will be exhibited at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York for three weeks, beginning with a ceremony on July 29, 2010 commemorating the legacy of Lea Bondi Jaray.