National Theatre restaurant building not to be taken by state

23-02-2005

The state will not expropriate the restaurant building and the land adjoining the premises of Prague's National Theatre as the lower house of parliament has rejected a Communist-sponsored bill which would allow for the expropriation. The bill was only short of 10 votes to be passed. Opponents of the nationalisation said that by passing the bill the country would set a very dangerous precedent. In 1990, the Czechoslovak parliament adjudged the restaurant building with a large underground technical complex serving the National Theatre to the Order of St Ursula by mistake. The Order owned the land under the building before World War Two. Later, it sold the building to the firm Themos, which has been locked in a protracted dispute with the theatre. The loss of the facilities has caused significant problems to the actors and theatre staff.