The Czech National Heritage Institute has refused to hand over Bouzov Castle in Moravia to a religious order within the church restitution process as it believes that the restitution law does not apply to this particular property, the ctk news agency reported. A spokesperson for the institute said Bouzov Castle was confiscated under the post-war Benes Decrees, i.e. before the 1948-1989 communist period o which the church restitution law applies. He moreover argued that the claimant was not able to prove having used the property between February 1948 and January 1990 for spiritual or pastoral purposes, which is required under the law. The property was claimed by the Czech branch of the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, which is a German Catholic Order, the successor of Teutonic Knights.
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