Mucha’s Slav Epic Future: Draft Agreement for Savarin Palace in Prague
The fate of Mucha’s Slav Epic hangs in the balance as a draft agreement with the painter’s descendants is now being considered.
The agreement aims to secure a location for the Slavic Epic within the Savarin Palace near Wenceslas Square. Jiří Pospíšil (TOP 09), Deputy Mayor of Prague, led the negotiations with the heirs of Alfons Mucha and the Crestyl company, but he refrained from disclosing the specifics until the agreement is officially approved.
The proposal is currently undergoing a comment procedure within the municipality before Pospíšil plans to present it to the city council in early September.
The Slavic Epic is a significant series of 20 large canvases that Alfons Mucha devoted 18 years to creating, starting in 1910.
His generous donation of the artwork to Prague was made on the condition that an appropriate exhibition space would be provided, although no specific timeframe was stipulated.
This condition has become the subject of contention in court, where John Mucha – the grandson of the famous Czech Art Nouveau painter – claims that Prague has failed to meet the requirement. In the meantime, the city council has authorized the loan of the canvases to the chateau in Moravské Krumlov, where they will be displayed until 2026.
The legal battle over ownership has been ongoing for years, with John Mucha initially losing but later winning a favorable ruling in 2020, after the Supreme Court reinstated the case. Now, following the city’s appeal, the dispute awaits resolution in the Municipal Court in Prague.
However, in 2022, the previous municipal management provisionally agreed with Mucha and Crestyl to house the canvases in the underground spaces of the upcoming Savarin project.
This decision faced criticism from the Society for the Slavic Epic in Prague, co-founded by another heir of the painter, Jarmila Mucha Plocková.
The association deems the underground premises of the shopping complex unsuitable for the artwork and argues that it would not be economically advantageous for Prague. They suggest other more fitting locations, such as the reconstructed Industrial Palace.
Pospíšil emphasizes the importance of ensuring the city retains ownership of the paintings, a matter that becomes uncertain if the John Mucha trial persists.
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