Court orders Vojtech Filip to apoligise to former director of National Gallery
The Chairman of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia Vojtěch Filip must apologise to the former head of the National Gallery in Prague Jiří Fajt for his statements last year in which he accused Fajt of mishandling the gallery’s funds and using a sponsor donation to add CZK 1.3 million to his salary, the District Court for Prague 1 has ruled on Friday.
According to the judge, Mr Filip did not support these accusations with any evidence, only using articles on the internet to support his statement and was therefore lying. The Communist Party chairman’s defence, that Mr Fajt, as a person of public interest, has to be confronted with the accusations, was dismissed.
Jiří Fajt was controversially fired from his position as director of the National Gallery in Prague last spring by the then Culture Minister Antonín Staněk on the grounds of financial mismanagement. This led to a petition against the decision being signed by dozens of museum directors and thousands of members of the public.
The state subsequently apologized to Mr Fajt through Staňek’s successor Lubomír Zaorálek, who is the current minister of culture.