Court throws out seizure of Czech artwork in Vienna

A Vienna district court recognised an appeal by Prague on Friday, scrapping the seizure of three Czech artworks being held as collateral in a legal dispute between the Czech state and the blood plasma company Diag Human. The news was revealed by Czech Health Ministry spokesman Vlastimil Sršeň on Friday. The court ruled that the two paintings and one sculpture seized where cultural property and as such except from the move. In late May, the court had recognised the firm’s compensation claim worth an estimated 10 billion crowns owed by the Czech state for thwarting its planned trade. The Czech Republic appealed the verdict. The artworks, no longer subject to confiscation, are by painters Emil Filla and Vincenc Beneš; the sculpture is a work by Otto Gutfreund. Before they were seized the works were on loan for an exhibition in Vienna.

Author: Jan Velinger