Valuable stolen icon returned home
Posted by Greeka on 12 Jan 2012
The Byzantine icon of Christ Elkomenos (Jesus in Pain in Greek) was recently returned to the church of Elkomenos in the Castle of Monemvasia, from where it had been stolen 32 years ago. It was early January 1979, when this valuable icon that shows the Crucifixion of Christ was stolen by a former military officer dressed into a monk. Along with this Byzantine masterpiece, the antiquity smuggler stole six more smaller icons.
Few months later, in 1980, the icon was discovered in a studio apartment in Athens, after the police trapped the smuggler. Since then, the icon was kept in the Byzantine Museum in Athens, as the small church in Movemvasia was considered inappropriate to host it any more.
After many efforts of the local authorities, the portable icon returned to the Castle of Monemvasia and it is now kept in the chapel of Saint John inside the church of Elkomenos. For security reasons, the icon has been put inside a specially made wooden box with double glass and it is supervised by cameras. The story of this icon, whose price was estimated at around 300,000 euros in 1980, was turned into a TV series in 1983 with the title "Ierosyloi" (Sacreligious).
The photo is from www.tovima.gr