The government castle is a Baroque hollow house. 1665 items were cleared elsewhere

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Even if the state authorities decide today to stop the sale of the Štiřín state castle, as requested by some critics, it will hardly be possible to reverse the castle from going into private hands.

A significant part of the furniture was already taken to other Czech castles from the luxurious baroque building near Prague, which was previously used by the department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for training and conferences.

From the list available to Seznam Zprávy, it follows that hundreds of objects were moved: armchairs, chairs, tables, wardrobes, beds, curtains, “onion” porcelain, carpets, lamps, as well as many paintings and graphic sheets.

As the Office for the Representation of the State in Property Matters (ÚZSVM), which has been managing the building since last June, informed the editors, preservationists requested a total of 1,665 movable items from the Štiřín inventory.

According to the mentioned list, the objects should be newly located in the castles of Kratochvíle, Dačice, Sychrov, Kozel, Opočno, Ratibořice, Zákupy or Český Krumlov. Slatiňany castle in Chrudim region already has several of them, as confirmed by the castellan Jaroslav Bušta.

“Of what was more valuable, I would name one showcase and two chairs, but we also have a table and a set of dishes from Štiřín. It is already part of the exhibition, we used it to supplement our interiors,” said Bušta.

The cleared property is headed for sale. Many MPs disagree with this, including those of the government. And the former director of the castle even talks about a “barbaric act”.

The list The reports wanted to see the castle from the inside, the ÚZSVM said that it is currently not possible to take a tour, but sent photos:

“The Castle Suffered”

The considered sale of the chateau and the adjacent very valuable park, known for its unique collection of rhododendrons, is criticized, for example, by the vice-chairwoman of the control committee and member of the budget committee, Hana Naiclerová (STAN). According to her, the authorities are not acting with the care of a proper householder.

“The sale of the castle is taking place contrary to what was recommended by the control and budget committee of the Chamber of Deputies, where we agreed across the spectrum that the use of the castle by the state should be sought instead of its sale,” said Naiclerová.

Like many others, he argues that the state has invested a very high amount in the restoration of the castle for conference premises over the course of 25 years – around two billion crowns, while the sale at auction does not guarantee a return and a question mark hangs over the future owner as well.

The MP believes that the castle could have provided conference and training services to the entire state apparatus, at overhead prices. He does not consider the sudden end of operations and the removal of furniture without any economic analysis to be a reasonable procedure.

“The castle suffered as a result,” claims Naiclerová, also pointing to the decay of the abandoned premises.

The Office for Representation of the State in Property Matters argues that after taking over the castle from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last June, it searched for interested parties among other state institutions for several months, but no one applied to take over the property.

Now the office is preparing a sale (it should take the form of a tender with an electronic auction), which should be preceded by the preparation of an expert opinion. “The valuation of the Štiřín castle area has not yet been definitively completed,” said Michaela Tesařová, spokeswoman for the ÚZSVM, when asked by the editors.

The office is also preparing for the sale by lobbying the cadastral office for some land from the castle park, until now listed as forest (allegedly wrongly), to be changed to permanent grass, and thus their blocking should be removed.

Temporarily in depositories

The National Monuments Institute (NPÚ) states that in Štiřín, it did not only take over furniture from representative spaces, but also items from offices, operating rooms and hotel rooms.

Artistically valuable historical objects are now to be presented to the general public in “replacement” historical objects. “Some are already made available to the public, for example at the Stekník state castle, where they are a pair of sofas from the Štiřín representative premises. Other items will be continuously installed in interiors already made available or interiors being prepared for making available,” said Blanka Černá, spokeswoman for the heritage institute. As she also said, most of the objects from Štiřín are still “temporarily” in depositories.

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According to the spokesman, preservationists want to use the furniture and accessories from the hotel rooms in Štiřín for other purposes in selected castles, outside of the classic tour routes. For example, to retrofit premises used for organizing weddings, conferences, seminars and cultural events.

It is said that it was never considered that the entire Štiřín castle area, which belonged to the Ringhoffer business family until 1945, could be made available to tourists like other heritage-protected buildings. “The Štiřín Castle was adapted for accommodation and presentation purposes, that’s why the NPÚ did not consider it,” said Blanka Černá, spokeswoman for the preservationists.

The eviction of the Štiřín castle is heavily borne by the former long-time director Václav Hrubý. “I consider it a barbaric act, not even the Communists did something similar,” he said, adding that the furniture with reference to the Ringhoffers had been put together for 40 years.

The article is in Czech

Tags: government castle Baroque hollow house items cleared

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