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National Heritage Institute returns part of Sázava Monastery

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Prague, May 18 (CTK) – The Czech National Heritage Institute (NPU) has returned a part of the Sazava Monastery to the Catholic Church in restitution and the Roman-Catholic parish Sazava-Cerne Budy has got the presbytery and the church, NPU spokeswoman Simona Jureckova told CTK on Wednesday.

She said the signing of the protocol on the return as well as the physical return of the property took place last week.

She said the monastery building that houses an exhibition on Slavonic education remains permanently in state ownership.

According to the restitution law, which took effect in January 2013, churches are to be returned land and real estate worth 75 billion, confiscated from them by the communist regime, and given 59 billion crowns plus inflation in financial compensation for unreturned property during the following 30 years. Most of the property and compensation will go to the Catholic Church.

The items the NPU has returned to the Catholic Church include the St John Nepomuk Church at Zelena Hora and the Kromeriz Palace, both UNESCO-listed complexes in south Moravia.

It has also returned several movables and it still deals with some other applications. It has refused to return the Bouzov Castle, north Moravia, to the Order of German Knights.

The first partially private monastery buildings were built in Sazava, in which Slavonic monks lived for almost three quarter of century, in 1032. Sazava was then a unique centre of Old Slavonic literature and liturgy. Prague Latin monks settled in the monastery in 1096. The monastery remained the centre of spiritual and literary education and development of crafts. The monastery was abolished by Emperor Joseph II in 1785.

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