A U.S. museum has returned a valuable 1,000-year-old Christian manuscript to a monastery in northern Greece.
At a ceremony Thursday at the Eikosiphoinissa Monastery, the 11th-century gospel was solemnly delivered in front of guests including Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and representatives from the Museum of the Bible in Washington.
The Greek manuscript, which the Archdiocese of America claims to be one of the earliest handwritten gospels in existence, is thought to have been created in southern Italy.
In 2014, it was given to the museum after being purchased at auction. Officials from the museum later determined that it was one of the manuscripts taken from the monastery in 1917.
Elpidophoros commended the Museum of the Bible on Thursday for having the "courtesy to recognise where (the manuscript) belongs and return it."
He declared, "A historical injustice has been made right."
Marauding soldiers from the nearby country of Bulgaria kidnapped the gospel along with another 430 priceless manuscripts and hundreds of other sacred relics. The majority remain missing.
The monastery, which was destroyed by Bulgarian occupation troops associated with Nazi Germany in 1943 and restored to serve as a convent, dates back to the 8th century.