PRAGUE (Oct. 20)
The Czech government officially has returned the Prague Jewish Museum to the Prague Jewish community.
The museum, which was confiscated by the Nazis in 1939 and subsequently taken over by the postwar Communist regime, houses one of the world’s largest collections of Judaica, some of whose priceless objects date back to the 16th century.
President Vaclav Havel attended an Oct. 13 ceremony marking the return, along with other Czech government officials, Israeli Ambassador Moshe Yegar, and leaders of the Czech Jewish community.
The new director of the museum, Leo Pavlat, stressed the importance of the museum and called upon Jewish museums and institutions abroad to lend assistance to the Prague Jewish Museum in order to improve upon its already significant international reputation.
In an interview at the ceremony, Havel said he was pleased that the museum was being returned to its rightful owners and expressed the hope that this was just the beginning of the process of satisfying Jewish claims.