The Prague Municipal Court has ruled that the famous Slav Epic cycle of
paintings by Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha belongs to the City of
Prague, rejecting a claim by the painter’s grandson John Mucha.
Mucha’s grandson tried to reclaim the paintings on the argument that the City of Prague had broken the terms of a 1928 agreement under which the artist donated the paintings. The terms called for the city to find a permanent site for their exhibition.
However the court ruled that the paintings were never owned by the artist who painted them on commission for American businessman Charles Crane who then donated them to the city of Prague. The ruling is legally binding.
Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic was seen by over 660,000 people during a three-month exhibition in Japan that concluded on Monday. Jan Wolf, a councillor for the City of Prague, which owns the cycle of paintings, said at least 12,000 visitors a day had seen them during the last six days of the show. Mr. Wolf said the most optimistic forecast for total attendance had been around 300,000. The Slav Epic is set to return to the Czech Republic on June 21. It is not yet clear whether it will be loaned out again.
The District Court for Prague 1 has ruled that the famous Slav Epic cycle of paintings by Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha belongs to the City of Prague, rejecting a claim by the painter’s grandson John Mucha. His legal representation had argued that the City of Prague had broken the terms of a 1928 agreement under which the artist donated the paintings. The terms had called for the city to find a permanent site for their exhibition. The city argued the cycle of paintings had no longer been owned by the painter but by American businessman Charles Crane. Friday’s ruling can be appealed.
Over 75,000 people have seen an exhibition of Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic since it opened its doors in the Japanese city of Tokyo 12 days ago, Prague councillor Jan Wolf told the Czech News Agency. The series of enormous paintings is scheduled to be on show until June 5 but the Japanese organisers have already sounded out the possibility of keeping the exhibition open for longer. Mr. Wolf said people from all over Japan were travelling to Tokyo for the show.
Alphonse Mucha’s cycle of paintings the Slav Epic has gone on display in the Japanese capital Tokyo. The exhibition is part of a Year of Czech Culture in Japan organised in connection with the 60th anniversary of the renewal of diplomatic relations between the two states. The Slav Epic exhibition, which is expected to attract up to a quarter of a million visitors in three months, was opened by the Czech minister of culture, Daniel Herman. There has been some opposition to the sending of the paintings to Japan, with restorers warning that the canvases could be damaged.
The city of Prague has stepped up the search for a suitable space to house the famous Slav Epic, a cycle of 20 large paintings by Alfons Mucha. After years of inactivity, various Prague districts are putting forward suggestions of where the famous cycle would be displayed to the best advantage. Among the most flamboyant ideas is a plan for a golden oval- shaped gallery which would stand on the riverbank.
A Prague court will on Wednesday start deliberations about the future of the famous series of paintings by Alphonse Mucha, the Slav Epic. Mucha’s grandson has brought proceedings on the grounds that Prague City Hall has broken the terms of a 1928 agreement under which the artist donated the paintings. The terms called for the city to find a permanent site for their exhibition for the Czech people. Grandson John Mucha is protesting the fact no such site has still been found and that the city plans to loan them on an Asia tour due to start next month.
Prague City Hall says it may have found a suitable exhibition space for Alfons Mucha’s Slav Epic, a cycle of 20 outsize canvases depicting the history and mythology of the Slav peoples. According to the ctk news agency Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová has approved a site in Těsnov, in Prague 8, where an exhibition center would be erected for the paintings. The decision still has to be approved by the Prague City Council. Alfons Mucha regarded the Slav epic as his lifetime achievement and dedicated the series of paintings to the city of Prague in 1928 on condition that a suitable place in the capital was found to exhibit them. For many years Prague was unable to fulfil this condition and the paintings resided at the castle of Moravský Krumlov.