Massive trade in illegally stolen Greek icons

1 May

Icons stolen from Greek monastery appear in private gallery auction in Europe

(See whole post in Orthodox Christianity.)

Epirus, Greece, May 1, 2020   

Hundreds of precious icons were stolen from churches and monasteries in the northern Epirus region of Greece between 2000 and 2010, most of them ending up abroad and being sold.

The creation of an electronic database of stolen art, including 150 icons, helped significantly reduce the number of thefts.

Now, two more icons are set to be auctioned at a private gallery in Europe. According to reliable sources, the Christ the Pantocrator and Panaghia Portaitissa icons came from the Monastery of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos in Makrino, Zagori, from which nearly 40 monasteries were stolen in 2007, reports the Epirus Post.

The images from the gallery’s website, published by the Epirus Post, show that the icons have been well preserved.

The starting price for the icon of Christ is $10,985 (10,000 euros), and $13,180 (12,000 euros) for the icon of the Theotokos.

In 2011, 6 stolen icons were discovered in an art gallery near the Greek embassy in London. Having learned they were stolen, the art dealer voluntarily gave up his rights to the icons.

The ring leader for the thefts was identified later that year with information provided by the London gallery.

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5/1/2020 See also Relics of St. Mamas of Caesarea, saved from auction, to be returned to Cyprus Icon-smuggling ring uncovered Stolen Greek relics found in London

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