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Descendant of WWI's Archduke Ferdinand seeks Czech castle

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Dec 2006 8:01    Onderwerp: Descendant of WWI's Archduke Ferdinand seeks Czech castle Reageer met quote

Prague - A great-granddaughter of the noble whose assassination sparked World War I is seeking rights to his Czech Republic castle, reports said Wednesday.

In a newspaper interview, Countess Sophie Hohenberg promised that, if she won the case, the gothic-style Konopiste Castle near Prague would remain open to the public.

Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand owned the 13th-century castle before he was gunned down in Sarajevo in 1914.

The subsequent war, and the later confiscations of private land by the former communist Czechoslovakia, has now raised questions about the property's present-day ownership.

Hohenberg, who lives in Luxembourg, claims the Czech government's post-World War I confiscation of property from the defeated Austro-Hungarian Empire should not have included Konopiste.

And rather than remain in state hands, as it has since communist times, Hohenberg says the castle as well as its historic contents and surrounding forest should be returned to the family.

She told the Mlada fronta Dnes newspaper that her property restitution claim, filed last week in a Czech local court, is 'for me a responsibility toward my family and toward my father.'

Similar claims for Czech castles, chateaus and forests have been filed by European nobility since Prague's post-communist government launched a restitution programme in the 1990s. Claimants have had mixed success.

Hohenberg said that if she wins the case, the family would keep the castle open to the public.

'The Czech Republic is my second homeland,' she said. 'Konopiste is something like a family home for our family. It is our historic seat, our traditional grounds.'

© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

http://news.monstersandcritics.com/europe/news/article_1230188.php/Descendant_of_WWIs_Archduke_Ferdinand_seeks_Czech_castle
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Dec 2006 8:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Deze dus:

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