about the Czech property of Ivan Šimon, the son of T.F. Šimon
Ivan Šimon (* 1914 - +
Boston 2009), son of the artist Tavik Frantisek Šimon
and his wife Vilma Kacikova left his country Czechoslovakia in
1947. He went with his wife Jarmilla and children Michal and
Alena to the USA. In 1948 the communists took over the
government and nationalized his property. Nowadays his paintings,
drawings and graphic art by his father T.F. Šimon is in the
National an Municipal Museum in Prague. You can see an example
of the registration of his property. All his property is
recorded in this way.
After the Velvet Revolution by Vaclav Havel, Ivan had the chance
to get his art collection back. He did not fill in forms and
did decided not to ask it back, so the state kept it until now.
Of course the curators of the museums could have the character
to give him everything back anyhow, but they didn't. Ivan Šimon also
was the owner of at least 1/3 of the house of his father and
mother in Bubenec, Prague. Nowadays here is the Algerian
consulate. The building is worth at least a million Euro and the
house market is booming in Prague. But of course the emotional
value is invaluable, and does hurt, too.
We can conclude: in 1948 the government of Czechoslovakia stole
the art collection and real estate of Ivan Šimon, the son of the
artist T.F. Šimon. So the state was a thief. The Czech Republik,
the legal successor of Czechoslovakia, decided to give back
property, if stolen in or after1948, if you formally asked
it back. If you didn't ask it, you got nothing. Of course this is
a strange attitude, why do you have to ask a thief to get your
stolen property back. If a thief has conscientious scruple and
wishes to return stolen property to the legal owners, the thief
has to do his utmost to do so.
In Holland the government did for half a century her utmost not
to give back to the heirs the property of Jews who were murdered
by the nazis during the second world-war. After the war she
simply annexed their property. The public opinion was growing
against this shameless attitude and finally the Dutch government
hired several researchers to hunt down the heirs of the property.
Of course it should be wiser and honourable if the Czech
Republic also does research to hunt for the legal owners to give
them their property back. Now she keeps everything that the
proper owners has not asked to get back. Honesty is the best
Below you find photos from 2 documents in the
Archives of the National Museum in Prague (Kinsky Palace). The
documents are 2 of several that prove that some works of art
originally belonged to Ivan Šimon.
Czech: z propadlého majetku dr Ivan Šimona = from
the lapsed property of Dr Ivan Šimon
There should be a universal, fundamental right to have property.
A state must protect proprietary right. It is the basis of
economy and the corner-stone of society.