The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. returned a more than 1,000-year-old handwritten gospel to the Greek Orthodox Church on Tuesday. It was transferred to an Eastern Orthodox Church during a private ceremony in New York.
The manuscript, which had been looted from a Greek Monastery in World War I and was acquired by the museum at a Christie’s auction in 2011, is expected to be repatriated next month to the Kosinitza Monastery in northern Greece. There, for hundreds of years, it had been used in religious services, along with more than 400 volumes, before being taken by Bulgarian forces in 1917.
The manuscript’s history and chain of ownership is traced on the Museum of the Bible’s website, including its creation in the late 10th- or early 11th-century through various sales after the end of the war.