Cyprus Mail

Church secures two relics from German auction house

THE CHURCH of Cyprus has obtained religious relics it once owned from an auction it Germany, it emerged on Monday.
The items concerned are an icon of Saint Tryfonas and an old silver cross used during religious processions.
According to a statement from the representation of the Church of Cyprus to the European Union, the icon belonged to church in the north but was stolen after the Turkish invasion and sold abroad.
During the same period, the cross was illegally sold in bazaars and in black markets dealing with stolen cultural items.
Nevertheless, in March the two items were seen in an auction house in Dusseldorf, set go on auction on April 16.
About two weeks before the auction, the National Committee on combatting looting of cultural heritage decided to make a complaint to Europol.
By April 16 however the German police “for unknown reasons did not confiscate and return the two relics and that is why the Church of Cyprus auctioned and successfully got the two relics,” it said in a statement.
The Ayios Tryfonas icon is 53.7 x 40cm and supposedly protects gardeners. It was made in 1820.
The cross is from the 19th century and is 45.5 x 20cm in size. It decorated the altar of a church in the north.

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