NICOSIA — Thirty four works of art that were stolen from the Turkish-occupied parts of Cyprus will be returned on September 4 according to the Church of Cyprus.
The Munich Court of Appeals made a decision on March 16 against Turkish art smuggler Aydin Dikmen that made the return possible.
The items that will be returned include 24 Byzantine objects and pre-Christian antiquities. The objects were stolen Ayios Epiktitos Church and private collections.
Three pairs of doors from the altars of churches in the monasteries of the Antiphonitis Christ in the Kyrenia area and from the Virgin Mary Monastery in Kantara) will be returning, along with icons
More than 500 churches have been destroyed or looted as a result of the 1974 illegal Turkish invasion during the occupation. Most have been desecrated by being turned into stables, warehouses, restaurants and hotels.
Cyprus’ government and the Church of Cyprus have mounted a campaign of protests to the United Nations, the World Council of Churches and other international and religious organizations since 1974.