The British Library on Thursday returned three rare historic documents which had been illegally removed from the Panaghia Chrysopodaritissa Monastery in Achaia in 1979. The Library delivered them to the Greek Embassy in London.
According to the Greek Culture and Sports ministry, the manuscripts include two patriarchal sigils, issued by Ecumenical Patriarch Prokopius I in 1786 and by Gregory V in 1798, relating to the patriarchal value of the monastery. There is also an 18th-century Ottoman firman from the same collection.
The Greek Culture and Sports ministry released an announcement saying, “In 2016, the Achaia antiquities ephorate informed 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 stated.
British Library authorities responded immediately and cooperated fully with the Greek authorities for the safe return of the artifacts to Greece, the announcement added.