Catholic Church wins court battle over rare painting

The Prague Municipal Court has ruled that a rare painting dating back to 1350, Madona z Veveří, belongs to the Czech Catholic Church. The court thus rejected an appeal from the National Gallery which tried to lay claim to the painting on the grounds that the Catholic Church lost it before the onset of the communist regime, so it could not be reclaimed within the church restitution law. The Municipal Court ruled that the state had only declared ownership of the painting in 1958 and could not lay any claim to it today. After several appeals, Friday’s verdict is legally binding.