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Benedictine Order to turn to European bodies over Rusovce mansion

The Hungarian Benedictine Congregation, which has been pursuing a lawsuit against Slovakia over the ownership of the manor house in Rusovce (a district of Bratislava), plans to turn to European institutions for help, the TASR newswire reported on Tuesday, August 7.

The Hungarian Benedictine Congregation, which has been pursuing a lawsuit against Slovakia over the ownership of the manor house in Rusovce (a district of Bratislava), plans to turn to European institutions for help, the TASR newswire reported on Tuesday, August 7.

The Order of Saint Benedict in Komárno has claimed ownership of the mansion since the mid 1990s, based on the fact that it was bequeathed to it by Belgian crown princess Stephanie in her will in the 1940s. The order applied for the property to be handed over via a restitution order in December 1994, but its move was turned down based on legal shortcomings. After being rejected at district and regional levels, the Benedictines’ case was also rejected by Slovakia's Constitutional Court in 2008. The order subsequently submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court; a ruling is due within the next month or two.

"We've proposed to the Slovak authorities settling the case out of court several times," said Asztrik Varszegi, head of the Hungarian Benedictine Congregation in a statement, TASR reported. He added that the Benedictines have offered the mansion along with the attached land to Slovakia for representative purposes and for cultural and religious events. Since the Benedictines’ applications have failed in Slovakia's courts, the order has now turned to the European Union for help. The Slovak government is keen to see the mansion reconstructed and wants it to be used for state purposes. The government on August 1 approved plans to reconstruct the building on the grounds that the Benedictines' claim has been superseded by events in the intervening years.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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