- Hans Weber
- November 30, 2023
Prague City Council Resolves Legal Dispute Over Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic Paintings
On Monday, Prague city councilors took a significant step towards resolving the long-standing legal dispute over the ownership and exhibition of Alphonse Mucha’s renowned cycle of paintings, the Slav Epic. The city council approved the conclusion of two contracts: one to settle the legal dispute with one of Mucha’s descendants, John Mucha, and another to outline future collaboration related to the Slav Epic and the Mucha family collection.
The legal dispute between Prague and John Mucha has spanned several years. Initially, John Mucha lost the case, but the Supreme Court remanded it to the beginning. In 2020, John Mucha emerged victorious in the court of first instance. The case was set to be reconsidered by the Prague City Court next week, but the approval of the signed contracts is expected to bring an end to the entire dispute.
While the legal dispute has been resolved, the question of where the Slav Epic will be permanently housed remains open. Negotiations have been ongoing between the city and Crestyl, a development company working on a project near Wenceslas Square known as Savarin, as a potential location for the artwork. However, the Slav Epic Association, co-founded by Mucha’s granddaughter, Jarmila Mucha Plocková, opposes housing the artwork in Savarin and is prepared to take legal action if necessary.
The Slav Epic is a significant cycle of 20 large canvases created by Alphonse Mucha over 18 years starting in 1910. Mucha donated the work to Prague with the condition that the city provide suitable exhibition spaces, although no specific deadline was stipulated. Two years ago, Prague city councilors approved the loan of the canvases to Moravský Krumlov, where they are currently on display and will remain until 2026.
The resolution of the legal dispute is seen as a positive development towards finding a permanent home for this iconic and historically significant artwork, which holds immense cultural value in the Czech Republic and beyond.
Article by Prague Forum