Two Stolen Orthodox Icons to Return from Lebanon to Greece

January 20, 2021

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Two icons of Christ and the Virgin Mary painted in 1735 and 1785, respectively, were delivered to the Greek Embassy in Beirut on January 19 to be returned to Greece. The Greek culture ministry, in an announcement, said that both icons were stolen in 2006, along with other objects, from Aghia Triada church in Oxia, Karditsa where they had been catalogued and photographed by the local antiquities ephorate. The icons, classed as "despotic" or those on the altarpiece that depict Christ, the Virgin Mary or patron saints, had been posted on Interpol's wanted artworks data base.

In October 2020, the two icons were located by an archaeologist working for the culture ministry's department for the verification and protection of cultural goods, during the checking of an auction list that was going to be held in Dusseldorf in November 2020.

Greece asked for Interpol's cooperation in the location, confiscation and delivery of the icons to the Greek state. The two icons were in Lebanon and were going to be sent to Dusseldorf after the completion of the auction.

Both icons are temporarily being held at the Greek Embassy in Beirut and will soon be returned to Greece and delivered to the Aghia Triada church in Oxia were they belong, said the announcement.


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