Icons stolen in Turkish invasion back in Cyprus

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The Church of Cyprus has announced that two icons which were stolen from the 14th century church of Ayios Iacovos in the occupied Trikomo after the 1974 invasion were returned on Wednesday.

Icons stolen in Turkish invasion back in Cyprus
The icons were stolen from the Agios Iakovos church in Trikomo, in the northern
Turkish occupied part of Cyprus [Credit: SigmaLive]

According to a press release issued by the Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus, a ceremony to mark the repatriation of the icons will be held on Thursday at 10 am at the Byzantine Museum of the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation, in Nicosia.

The two icons, one of Christ and the other of Virgin Mary, were painted in 1620 by the Cretan painter Meletios, and were placed in the church of Ayios Iacovos located in the centre of Trikomo, and remained there until the Turkish invasion in 1974.

For some time the fate of the two icons was unknown. The icons were presented in the International Cretological conference held in Heraklion, Crete, in 1974 by Byzantinologist Athanasios Papayeorgiou.

The two icons, were identified in 2007 in Zurich. They were in the possession of art dealer Alexander Khochinskiy and following complaints by the Republic of Cyprus, were seized by the Zurich police in June 2009.

“In October 2014 a conviction was secured from the Larnaca District Court against the owner of the icons. The implementation of the decision in Switzerland was made possible after a written agreement between the Russian art dealer and the Church of Cyprus in December 2015. This ensured the recovery and repatriation of two very important icons,” the announcement says.

The Church of Cyprus extended its thanks to the couple, Nicolaos and Georgia Lascaris, who offered the required amount that brought the icons back to the island.

Source: SigmaLive [April 01, 2016]

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