The wall fragments originate from churches in occupied Cyprus. Two fragments come from the church of the Monastery of the Virgin Mary (Panagia) Apsinthiotissa at Sychari village, one fragment, which has only recently been identified, is from the Church of the Virgin Mary (Panagia) in Assia village and a fourth fragment remains unidentified.
The abovementioned wall-paintings were violently detached from the above monuments following the Turkish invasion of 1974 and have been in the possession of the NGO ‘Walk of Truth’, based in The Hague.
Tasoula Hadjitofi, on behalf of ‘Walk of Truth’, handed over the wall-paintings to Vasiliki Anastassiadou, minister of transport, Communications and Works, Republic of Cyprus, in the presence of Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou, director, Cyprus Department of Antiquities, which is the competent authority of the Republic of Cyprus on these matters, and Elpidoforos Economou, ambassador.
In her speech, Anastassiadou stressed, “It is by now a widely accepted notion that cultural heritage is a priceless and an irreplaceable inheritance, not only of each nation, but also of humanity as a whole. The loss, through theft, clandestine excavations and/or illicit trade, of any element forming this common heritage constitutes an impoverishment of the identity and history of all people and infringes upon the fundamental human rights to culture and development.”