NICOSIA (AP) — The communications minister of Cyprus says a rare 6th-century portrait mosaic of St. Mark which was looted from an Orthodox Christian church more than four decades ago has returned intact to the Mediterranean island nation.
Minister Vassiliki Anastassiadou said the mosaic arrived in Cyprus on Sunday. It was given earlier to church and government officials at the country’s embassy in the Netherlands.
The mosaic depicting a youthful St. Mark was one of several that went missing from the Church of Panayia Kanakaria after Cyprus split into ethnic Greek and Turkish sides in 1974.
A mosaic of St. Andrew from the same church was repatriated in April.
They are among a handful of such works that survived a period during the 8th and 9th centuries when many Orthodox icons were destroyed.