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.
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.
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:
Offers of historic buildings, castles and stately homes in the Czech
Republic outstrip potential interest, according to the Czech News Agency
after sounding out real estate agents.
Many would be buyers are deterred by the considerable reconstruction work
and costs that would be required, real estate agents said.
Conservation restrictions on what changes can be made are also a problem with buyers intending to carry out major changes and transformations. Most of the interest in such buildings comes from abroad, mainly from France and Russia, the report added.
The KPMG consultancy said around 1100 castles and stately homes are registered in the Czech Republic but their transformation into tourist accommodation or other uses is not expected to increase significantly in the short term.