Liechtenstein retracts all art loans to Germany

Liechtenstein retracts all art loans to Germany
Photo: dpa
Liechtenstein’s royal household said Tuesday it will suspend loans of art works from its collection to Germany, marking a new low in ties between the two countries embroiled in a tax scandal.

The royal family was due to lend some examples of “Biedermeier” art from mid-nineteenth century Vienna to an exhibition at a new art gallery in the German city of Munich from May to September, but this will now not go ahead.

“The prince’s collection will refuse to lend paintings to Germany, as long as the respect of fundamental principles of the state of law by Germany, in relation to its relationship with Liechtenstein, continue to be questionable,” said a statement from the prince’s secretariat. “All other previously agreed loans to Germany for exhibitions have been retracted,” it said, adding that if the situation changes, the principality is ready to resume good relations with German museums.

Liechtenstein has come under intense pressure in recent weeks after Germany began investigating 600 of its citizens whose names were allegedly on a client list of a Liechtenstein bank – containing a total of 1,400 names – that it then made available to other nations.

The German government last month admitted paying more than €4 million to an informer for client data from Liechtenstein bank LGT that led to the biggest tax fraud probe ever in Germany. The United States, Britain, Australia, Italy, France, Sweden, Canada, New Zealand, Greece and Spain have all said they too are hunting for taxpayers hiding their money in the tiny Alpine state.