British Library returns three historic documents illegally removed from Greek monastery in 1979
The British Library on Thursday returned three rare historic documents. The documents had been illegally removed from the Panaghia Chrysopodaritissa Monastery in Achaia in 1979. The documents were officially delivered on Thursday to the Greek Embassy in London.
According to the Greek Culture and Sports Ministry, the documents include two 18th-century patriarchal sigils issued by Ecumenical Patriarch Prokopius I (1786) and Gregory V (1798). Both sigils relate to the patriarchal value of the monastery. The two sigils were complemented by an 18th-century Ottoman firman from the same collection.
“In 2016, the Achaia antiquities ephorate informed the Cultural Goods Authentication and Protection Directorate of the Antiquities and Cultural Heritage department of the culture and sports ministry that the relics had been traced to the British Library. Immediately and systematically, the Cultural Goods Authentication and Protection Directorate collected all the necessary evidence that clearly established the illegal trafficking of the relics and sent a request for their return to the British Library,” the ministry said.
The authorities at the British Library responded immediately and cooperated fully with Greek authorities for the safe return of the artifacts to Greece, the announcement added.