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Cyprus

Stolen 300kg church bell found in north sheep pen  

Photo: Kibris

Authorities in the north have found the church bell stolen last November from the 17th century Ayios Panteleimonas monastery complex in Myrtou and arrested three persons, reports said on Tuesday.

According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris, police in Morphou located the stolen bell in a sheep pen in Avlona village. Three suspects were arrested.

The church bell was reported stolen last November after a Turkish Cypriot visitor to the monastery noticed it was missing.

The Technical Committee on Crime had made enquiries with Turkish Cypriot authorities on the theft of the bell that weighs around 300kg. It was removed from the nine-metre tower of the 17th century monastery complex.

President Nicos Anastasiades had referred to the issue in a written note he gave Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci during their meeting in February.

The monastery complex, was one of the flagship projects of the Cultural Heritage Committee which completed restoration to the religious monument some two years ago.

The House refugee committee, which also discussed the theft recently, and vandalism at the complex, were told that the bell had been donated to the monastery during Ottoman rule by Cypriots living in Venice.

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