The Philadelphia Museum of Art will return a ceremonial shield to the Czech
Republic that had been looted by Nazi authorities during the occupation of
the Bohemian castle Konopiště.
Museum Director Timothy Rub told Czech diplomat Antonín Hradilek that new documentation had offered proof the shield was taken from Konopiště, the Swiss Jewish publication tachles reported. The Nazis had intended to include the shield, crafted during the Italian Renaissance, within Hitler’s planned “Führer Museum”.
The Czech government had asked the museum to acknowledge Czech ownership of the shield based on a Declaration passed in December 1998 by 44 nations at the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets.
There is a place in the south-east of Czechia that will strongly remind you of London or the Royal Palace of Windsor. Surprised? That might be understandable, but the fact is that the romantic ideas of the English Gothic Revival or neo-Gothic architecture traveled far and wide in continental Europe. Lednice Chateau in South Moravia, very close to the Austrian border, is a prime example of such architectural ideas easily moving from the British Isles to the heart of Central Europe.
The Czech Republic’s famous Karlštejn castle, built by the Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, as a treasury for the crown jewels and other precious royal artefacts, is marking an important anniversary this week. It is exactly 670 years ago, in 1348, when the foundation stone of the Gothic castle was ceremoniously laid.
Private owners of historic buildings in the Czech Republic have opened their doors to the public and organised special events for their visitors as part of European Private Heritage Week, which takes place until Sunday. The aim of the event, which takes place under the banner ‘Our House, Your Heritage’ is to raise awareness about the contribution private owners of heritage buildings make to society as a whole.
There is a palace in Moravia like none other. You will find it in Kroměříž, not far from the banks of the Morava River. What used to be a summer representative residence of the bishops and archbishops of nearby Olomouc, later became a popular film location. Inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list, Kroměříž is a „must see" for all travellers to Eastern Czechia.
Protesters this week braved freezing temperatures to protest the pending demolition of what they regard as one of the best examples of so-called Brutalist architecture from the 1970s in the then Czechoslovakia. They argue that the latest episode is one of many recent ones and epitomises the failure of local and national heritage authorities to properly protect a broad swathe of monuments in Prague and the rest of the country.
Petr Kučera was a successful journalist and later pursued a career in politics. But twenty years ago he decided to swap the hustle and bustle of Prague for life in the country. He bought a dilapidated castle in East Bohemia and turned it into his new family home. Radio Prague travelled to the Castle of Nové Hrady or New Castle to pay him a visit: