Prague, March 18 (CTK) – John Mucha, grandson of Czech Art Nouveau artist Alfons Mucha (1860-1939), called on Prague to return Mucha’s Slav Epic cycle, in an appeal preceding a lawsuit that he sent to the City Hall in mid-February, the Aktualne.cz. server reported on Friday.
John Mucha argues that Prague has not yet met the artist’s condition for his gift and has not built a new pavilion for the Slav Epic cycle of 23 giant paintings depicting the ancient history of the Slavs.
John Mucha has also raised objections to the planned display of the paintings in Asian countries. He warns of possible harm to be caused to the artifacts during the tour of Asia, he told Aktualne.cz.
Alfons Mucha donated the cycle to Prague in 1913.
“John Mucha demands an injunction to be issued to prevent the Epic from being sent to Japan and China. However, we think that he has no right to do so,” Prague councillor for culture Jan Wolf said in reaction to John Mucha’s step.
The lawyers of the City Hall are now examining John Mucha’s letter and are discussing the case with his lawyers, Wolf said.
However, he questioned the arguments of John Mucha.
“He claims that Prague has no right to the Epic since it has not met the legacy condition. We dismiss this because it is not clearly stated in the testament that it must be a new building,” Wolf said.
He also supported the exhibition of the Slav Epic in Asia, saying it would promote the Czech Republic and Prague excellently.
The Slav Epic is now on display on the National Gallery’s (NG) premises in the Veletrzni palace where it should stay until the end of the year. At the beginning of 2017, it will be sent to an exhibition in Japan and China, and possibly also South Korea.
It is to return to the Czech Republic in 2019 only, but not to the NG premises. The Prague City Hall management is looking for another suitable place where the paintings can be stored.
However, their return to Moravsky Krumlov, south Moravia, is also being discussed at this town’s request.
The cycle of Mucha’s paintings moved to Prague from a chateau in Moravsky Krumlov, where it was on display for decades, in 2012. The transport stirred up protests of the Moravsky Krumlov Town Hall, the South Moravia Regional Office as well as John Mucha and thousands of other people.
John Mucha said if he won the dispute, he would display the Slav Epic in the Moravsky Krumlov chateau again and turn it into the Alfons Mucha centre.