Silver icon riza stolen 40 years ago finally returned to Tula church

Tula, Russia, May 30, 2018

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Representatives of the Vyatka Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church were given a valuable treasure by the Tula police yesterday.

The silver riza from an icon of St. Theodosius of Chernigov was stolen from a church in the Kirov region nearly 40 years ago, but now the precious covering has been returned, reports Interfax-Religion.

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“The riza was stolen nearly 40 years ago from the Holy Protection Church in the city of Sovetsk in the Kirov Province by a group of thieves from Tula, specializing in stealing Church valuables. This case rattled the entire Soviet Union in the 1980s. The crime was solved by the staff of the Tula criminal investigation department,” Andrei Yartsev, the head of the Tula Province Ministry of Internal Affairs press service explained.

According to art experts, the icon cover is of a particular historical, scientific, and artistic value.

The riza weighs about 9 lbs., with a size of 34 in. x 23.5 in. It was made from silver in Russia by masters of the famous jewelry company of Ivan Khlevnikov from 1899 to 1908.

Handing over the riza, the head of the Tula Province Ministry of Internal Affairs Sergei Galkin noted the importance of the event in the history of the provincial Internal Affairs, and the importance of the fact that the riza will be returned to the place it occupied in the church 40 years ago.

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