Czech city keeping landmark villa

The Czech city of Brno decided not to return a landmark villa to the heirs of its Jewish owner. Earlier this year, Brno’s city council had agreed to transfer the Tugendhat Villa, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to state authorities so it could be returned to the children of Greta and Fritz Tugendhat, but the state rejected the transfer.The City Council said that if it returned the property as
a gift, it would be liable for taxes amounting to 40 percent of
the villa’s value. City officials also expressed concern that other Jewish families would try to get their
confiscated property back from the town.The Tugendhats built and lived in the villa, which was designed in 1928 by famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, until 1938. The villa was then taken over by the Nazis and later by the communist regime. The Tugendhat heirs had sought the return of the villa, now a museum, because they said the city had failed to restore it as promised. Their right to regain the property under restitution laws has expired, but their legal case is based on classifying the villa as a work of art.

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