Tag Archives: Czech art assets

Enforcement against state-owned art abroad

The Czech government is urgently trying to repatriate its art lent to overseas institutions, to avoid it being seized to enforce a $500m Czech judgment, obtained against the Czech state by a commercial organisation. See Artinfo: http://bit.ly/jQskNk
Art has already been seized from a gallery in Vienna, and Paris seems likely to follow.  Could it happen in London?

Within the EU, it is relatively easy to get a court of one member state to recognise and enforce a judgment of another member state.  As the Czech Republic is in the EU, it is not surprising that the defendant is concentrating on Czech assets in other EU states.  The Czech government is arguing that the judgment is not yet “final” and, if that is right, it should not be enforceable at all, but some member states are more willing than others to allow “protective measures”, that is the freezing or restraining of assets pending the outcome of proceedings.  That is what has happened in Austria, but the English court would be far less willing to do that.

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