Czech National Gallery Loses Artwork

NG facing criticism for failing to report dozens of missing pieces

Artwork from Josef Lada, Frantisek Kupka, Jan Zrzavý, and others has gone missing from Prague’s National Gallery, according to a report issued by the Supreme Audit Office (Nejvyššího kontrolního úřadu) yesterday.

The National Gallery knew about some of the missing pieces since an internal audit in 2002, which was conducted to assess potential damages from the Prague floods. Others were discovered in a subsequent audit in 2012.



But the Gallery took no action to find the lost artwork. Only during the NKU’s audit this year did they file a report about some of the missing pieces.

According to Lidovky.cz, instead of dealing with the situation when the artwork was discovered to be missing, the gallery planned to wait until the next audit in 2027 to resolve the matter.

The missing pieces include a bronze statue, a painting, and drawings from famed Czech artists Lada, Krupka, Zrzavý, and others.

Some of the missing pieces were last audited in the years 1959-62.

Where did the pieces go? Some of them were lent out to Amsterdam museum for an exhibition in 1999.

But paperwork indicates that those pieces arrived back in Prague afterwards.

According to the Supreme Audit Office, lawyers are considering filing a complaint with the Ministry of Culture. 

Also read:  Heatherwick Studio unveils plans for new public space next to Prague's Wenceslas Square


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