Ostrava, North Moravia, March 21 (CTK) – Liechtenstein Prince Hans Adam will visit Opava, north Moravia, again after two years and he will open an exhibition highlighting his ancestor, Johann II, in the Silesian Land Museum during his two-day stay next week, the town’s spokeswoman Lada Dobrovolna told CTK on Tuesday.
Johann II (1840-1929) actively assisted in founding the museum in Opava, which is the oldest in the Czech Republic.
Prince Hans Adam will open the exhibition on Thursday, March 30. On Friday, he has a private programme in Opava.
Hans Adam enjoyed his previous stay in Opava. He showed interest in the town’s architecture, history and the Liechtenstein traces in the Opava area, Jaroslav Macovsky, from the town hall’s PR department, told CTK.
“The links between the Liechtensteins and Opava are historically very close. The coat of arms of the former Opava Princedom is still a part of the Liechtenstein state coat of arms,” Machovsky said.
The Liechtenstein family came to the area 400 years ago.
Hans Adam II still uses not only the title of the Prince of Liechtenstein but also the Duke of Krnov and Opava.
Krnov is another significant town in the Czech part of Silesia, apart of its capital Opava.
The Czech and the Liechtenstein states were connected for centuries. The Liechtensteins ranked among the richest noble families in the Czech Lands, mainly in Moravia.
They owned vast properties including the now UNESCO-listed Lednice-Valtice complex of chateaux and parks, south Moravia.
They lost a large part of the properties in consequence of the Czechoslovak land reform after World War One.
The rest was confiscated from them after World War Two based on President Edvard Benes’s decrees that stripped selected groups, including Nazi collaborators, of citizenship and property.
The Czechoslovak state then assessed the Liechtensteins as collaborators of the Nazis. Historians, nevertheless, say the evidence allegedly proving the family’s collaboration is disputable.
The application of the Benes decrees to the Liechtenstein property caused a protracted dispute between Prague and Vaduz. Bilateral diplomatic relations were only established in September 2009.