The court recognized another part of the Colloredo-Mansfelds' claims for furniture from Opočno

The court recognized another part of the Colloredo-Mansfelds' claims for furniture from Opočno

Court recognized another part of Colloredo-Mansfeld's interest in furniture z Opočno

Historic carriage of the noble family Colloredo-Mansfeld from the furniture of the chateau in Opočno in Rychnovsk (pictured on October 8, 2002).

Pardubice – The Court of Appeal in Pardubice decided on the release of part of the furniture of the Opočno castle of the Colloredo-Mansfeld family. He confirmed the judgment of the district court from 2006. The set of objects includes a valuable carriage, a collection of paintings and several thousand other objects, such as historical weapons and dishes. The value is in hundreds of millions of crowns. ČTK requested a statement from the National Monuments Institute.

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According to the court, the plaintiffs proved that they are entitled persons and that things were transferred to the state without a legal reason. They were originally confiscated under the Beneš decrees as persons of German nationality, but later it was proved that this reason was not given, stated the president of the senate, Alena Pokorná. “It is absurd that the property was first taken away by the Nazis in 1942 and then by the would-be democratic state of President Beneš,” Pokorná said.

The court largely accepted the lawsuit, giving the things to the joint ownership of the plaintiffs, who were Jerome Colloredo- Mannsfeld and Kristina Colloredo-Mannsfeld, whose fathers were brothers. He did not recognize only a smaller number of items claimed by Kristina Colloredo-Mannsfeld as inheritance from her father.

According to the court, the Gestapo decided to confiscate the furniture because the Colloredo-Mansfelds were enemies of the Reich, not because their ancestors were Jewish. The aristocratic family declared its loyalty to the Czechoslovak state in 1939 when the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia. It was later confiscated by the Czechoslovak state according to the Beneš decrees.

“It is true that according to the decrees, persons whose property would be taken away could defend themselves by saying that they were loyal to the republic, even if they were, for example, Germans, or that they helped in the fight against Nazism. But a decision was needed, because even according to today's jurisprudence, the decrees took away property ex lege, i.e. by law,” said Pokorná. According to her, however, it was not proven that the Colloredo-Masnfelds were of German nationality or were loyal to Czechoslovakia.

Last June, the Court of Appeal in Pardubice, in another branch of the restitution case, also recognized the claim of the Colloredo-Mansfelds to the release of part of the furniture Opočno castle. Last year, the court recognized the claims of the descendants of the elder prince Josef Colloredo-Mannsfeld, born in 1866. However, it rejected another part of the request for the release of furniture that previously belonged to Josef Colloredo-Mannsfeld, born in 1910.