The British Library has returned three rare historic documents that had been illegally removed from the Panagia Chrysopodaritissa Monastery in Achaia in 1979.
According to the Greek Culture and Sports Ministry, the items which were returned to the Greek Embassy in London on Thursday to be sent on to Greece, include two 18th-century patriarchal sigils issued by Ecumenical Patriarch Prokopius I (1786) and Gregory V (1798), relating to the patriarchal value of the monastery and 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.