After almost forty years of wandering, six post–byzantine icons stolen from occupied churches after the Turkish invasion of 1974 return to the native land of Cyprus. There is evidence that all six icons have been part of the spoils of Turkish looter A. Dikmen, who plundered dozens of churches in occupied Cyprus after the Turkish invasion.
These are the icons of:
1) St. Fotini of Karpasia (40x29 cm) of 1811, the work of hagiographer Lavrentios, a student of the Cretan hagiographer John the Cretan.
2) St. Panteleimon (42 x 28 cm) of 1812, of the same hagiographer.
3) Apostle Andrew (41 x 34 cm) of the 18th century, from the Monastery of Panagias Tochniou near Mandres, Famagusta, work of hagiographer Ioannikios, of the hagiography school of the Monastery of St. Herakleidios.
4) Apostle Marcus (56 x 39 cm) of the 18th century, from the hagiography school of the Monastery of St. Herakleidios.
5) St. Panteleimon (45 x 39 cm) of 1854, of a student of hagiographer John the Cretan.
6) The icon of Palm Sunday (37 x 29 cm) of the 18th century, from the hagiography school of the Monastery of St. Herakleidios.
The six icons were identified, in December 2010, at the art gallery P. Von Culmer in Augsburg, Germany, following information given to the Church of Cyprus. After the identification of the icons, the Church of Cyprus in cooperation with the Cypriot police made the appropriate complaints to the respective German police authorities, who proceeded to seize them by Mr. Von Culmer. Following a successful attempt of amicable settlement after suggestion of the German authorities, on Wednesday, October 9th Bishop Porfyrios of Neapolis went to Munich, and received the six icons from Mr. Johann Hoffmann, German Police officer. The German lawyer Mr. Enno Engbers, also contributed to the new remarkable success of the Church of Cyprus.
The icon of St. Fotini of Karpasia comes from the homonym church in the occupied community of St. Andronicus, Karpasia. Next to the church is the cave - hermitage of the saint and her tomb which was discovered in 1720. Part of the holy relics of the Saint are kept in the church built by refugees, residents of the community, at the refugee settlement in Kolossi, Limassol. Upon request of the president of the Community Council Mr. Stylianou and refugees of St. Andronicus, the icon will be placed in the new church of St. Fotini after its repatriation until the day of return to the free from occupation troops church.