A post-Byzantine icon of the Dormition of Theotokos, 18th century, (36.8x28 cm) is identified in an auction house of the German city Heilbronn last April by the Office of the Church of Cyprus in Brussels. The icon was painted by hagiographer from the school of hagiography of St. Irakleidios monastery and presents Lady Theotokos lying on the deathbed. Jesus Christ holds, at the center of the icon surrounded by angels, the soul of the Virgin with both hands, as a small and swaddled infant.
The dead body of Theotokos is surrounded by the Apostles. The image and the kinesiology of the persons are obviously impressed by the pain and sorrow for the death of Mother of God. In the lower part of the icon, Angel of the Lord cut off the hands of a Jew by the sword, because he attempted to attack and to offend the body of Theotokos.
It was found that the icon comes from the occupied monastery of Panagia Melandryna near to the community of Kalograia, founded in the 15th century. After the Turkish invasion in 1974, the icon, as many others unknown yet, was exported illegally to be sold in the bazaars of European cities, where a smuggling art still exists. Following concerted actions of the Church of Cyprus was made possible the recovery by the Director of the Office of the Church in Brussels Bishop of Neapolis Porfyrios. The icon taken will soon be repatriated to Cyprus.
In the historic monastery of Panagia Melandryna are carried out projects of support and stabilization, in which until recently was facing the danger of destruction. The project is realized by Turkish Cypriot contractor, through the Technical Committee of Culture and is subsidized by funds of the European Union.