Swiss bank to open vaults holding Kafka works: press

16th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Manuscripts and drawings of Franz Kafka are to be extracted from the vaults of Swiss bank UBS, amid litigation over ownership rights of the estate, Swiss press reported Friday.

Four safes which have held manuscripts and drawings of the author for over 50 years are to be opened on Monday, according to the newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung.

UBS declined comment when contacted by AFP.

The move in Zurich follows similar action at two Tel Aviv banks this week, which were ordered by an Israeli tribunal to extract Kafka's works from their vaults.

The documents are at the heart of an ownership legal tussle between the Israeli authorities and the Hoffe sisters -- who say they had inherited the estate from their mother Esther Hoffe.

Esther Hoffe was the secretary of Max Brod, the friend of Kafka whom the author had entrusted with burning all manuscripts and works after his death.

However, Brod had ignored Kafka's wishes and instead published the works. He also bequeathed the originals to Esther Hoffe.

As Brod had migrated to Israel in 1939 when fleeing the Nazis, the state of Israel now claims that Kafka's documents are property of the state.

A trial is therefore ongoing in Israel to determine if the Hoffe sisters are the rightful heirs of the estate.

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article