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The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works announced that on May 14, a reliquary case stolen from the Agios Mamas Church located in occupied Morfou was returned to its rightful owner, in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The wooden reliquary case has the body of a book and contains the remains of Agios Panteleimon, Agios Charalambos, Agios Neophytos, Agios Tryfonos, Agios Philippos, Agios Michael Synadon, Agios Polydoros, Agios Ioannis Lampadistis and Agios Mamantos.

The imagery depicted beneath the lid is that of Agios Mamas beset by Agios Panteleimon, Agios Tryfonos and two bishops.

The reliquary was on sale online on the Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf auction house website. The Holy Bishopric of Morfou was immediately notified.

The auctioning of the item was prevented through the coordinated efforts of the competent government authorities (Department of Antiquities, Cyprus Police, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Customs and Excise) and the Holy Bishopric of Morfou including Ms Pafiti.

The managing directors of the auction house Hargesheimer, once they realised the item was illegally exported, they proceeded to purchase the object from its possessors and to return it to the Holy Metropolis of Morfou.

The Department of Antiquities wishes to extend its gratitude to the managing directors of the auction house and to all those who contributed to the timely withdrawal of the reliquary case from the online sale catalogue of the auction house and for its repatriation.