Czech Republic Racing to Reclaim Valuable Artworks It Loaned for Fear of Seizure


PRAGUE (AP).- The Czech Republic is racing to reclaim valuable artworks it loaned to museums across Europe before they can be seized in a battle over a $500 million judgment to a businessman who says the government slandered him. The government has refused to abide by a 2008 Czech arbitration court ruling that it owed Josef Stava 8.3 billion koruna ($500 million) as compensation for claiming in 1992 that his blood plasma company was suspected of illegal activities, resulting in the company not getting a government contract. Stava’s lawyers turned to the courts in several EU countries and the U.S. to seize the country’s assets. Courts in Vienna and Paris recognized the company’s claim in May. Authorities in Austria seized from Vienna’s Belvedere Gallery two paintings, “The Dancer” by Vincenc Benes and “Two Women,” by Emil Filla, to