Cyprus: 18th-century St. John the Baptist icon taken in 1974 by British pilot is returned to Church

Nicosia, February 25, 2022

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An 18th-century icon of St. John the Baptist that was taken out of war-torn Cyprus in 1974 by a pilot of the British Air Force has been returned to the Orthodox Church.

The pilot’s son handed over the icon to a representative of Archbishop Chrysostomos during a ceremony on Wednesday, reports

The pilot, who is now deceased, took the icon to the UK, where it remained “hidden in a box for years.” The son, who wishes to remain anonymous, wanted to return it to its rightful owner.

“If this icon could speak, it would tell the great story of its creation and the joy it brought to many generations of believers. It would also tell about the sorrows of the world, conflict, and displacement to another country for many years,” the man said.

In August, a set of 18th-century Royal Doors looted from a church in Northern Cyprus were returned to the Church from Japan.

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