International Law Keyed to Damrosche
Austria v. Altmann
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Altmann (P) brought suit against Austria (D) and the Austrian Gallery (Gallery) (D) when she learnt that certain valuable art works which belonged to her uncle and was seized or expropriated by Austria (D) after World War II. This suit was filed in a federal district court to recover the arts which consisted of six paintings by Gustav Klimt. She also based her ownership of the painting on the premise that her uncle had willed the paintings to her before he fled Austria.Austria (D) and the Gallery (D) however prayed the court to dismiss the suit against them. The FSIA applicability of denial of sovereign immunity through an exception for cases in which rights in property have taken in violation of international law was claimed by Altmann (P). The prayer of Austria (D) was not granted by the district court but it was granted by the court of appeals. Certiorari was however granted by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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