The Cypriot antiquities department has announced the return of approximately 170 religious artefacts stolen from churches in the north of the island following the Turkish invasion – said to be the largest number of cultural objects ever repatriated.
The antiquities, which consist of icons, mosaics and fragments of wall paintings, were found in the possession of Turkish art dealer Aydin Dikmen, when Munich police raided one of his apartments in 1997. They have now been repatriated after a seven-year legal battle in Germany. Dikmen stole the artefacts from 51 different churches in the north of Cyprus, following the 1974 Turkish invasion.
The repatriated antiquities are on display at the Byzantine Museum, next to the Archbishopic in Nicosia.
For more on this story, see the Cyprus Mail.