European court allows Czech noblewoman to reopen fight for castle property

The European Court of Human rights in Strasbourg has backed the rights of a noble family to renew proceedings to get their property back from a confiscated stately home.

The court ruled Thursday that Kristina Colloredo-Mansfeld had not been given the rights to a fair court case when Czech authorities refused to give her access to the 1947 ministry decision nationalising the Renaissance castle of Opočno.

Her previous appeal to the Czech Constitutional Court was turned down in November last year. The noble family argue that the furniture and valuable art collection at the castle was first confiscated by the Nazi Gestapo in 1942 and later by the Czechoslovak state.