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State returns UNESCO site to Olomouc Archbishopric

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The baroque chateau in Kroměříž is part of the Catholic church's restitution settlement in the Czech Republic.

The baroque chateau in Kroměříž is part of the Catholic church’s restitution settlement in the Czech Republic.

 

31 January 2015
Prague Post
 

The Czech state will return [the Kroměříž chateau], which is UNESCO-listed together with the surrounding gardens, to the Olomouc Archbishopric within the church restitution, Culture Minister Daniel Herman told Czech Television (ČT) today. Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-ČSL) said it will not be long before the property is transferred to the original owner. “We applied for the chateau because it forms one whole with the furnishings that have never ceased to be our property,” Olomouc Archbishop Jan Graubner told ČT. The Catholic Church owns tens of thousands of items inside the chateau. The most valuable include Titian’s Apollo and Marsyas painting. The paintings and equipment will now be restored. The project worth 19 million crowns includes work on 36 paintings and 28 pieces of historical furniture. The Finance Ministry has promised to provide most of the financial means within Norwegian funds, Jiří Gračka, spokesman for the Olomouc Archbishopric, told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday. The purpose of the project is the salvation of endangered items from the Archbishopric’s arts collections.

The Kroměříž painting gallery is the country’s second most important after the National Gallery. The collection of more than 500 paintings is unique also on European level. It contains works by famous authors, including Titian, van Dyck, Brueghel, Cranach and Veronese.

According to the restitution law, which took effect in January 2013, churches are to be returned land and real estate worth 75 billion Kč, stolen from them by the communist regime, and given 59 billion Kč plus inflation in financial compensation for unreturned property during the following 30 years. The Catholic Church will get 47.2 billion Kč of the total plus inflation.

Read the original article here.

Posted in: Sanctum Sanctorum

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