Museum Security Network

Galata, Cyprus: Man arrested for theft of church doors seven years ago

Man arrested for theft of church doors seven years ago
Published on September 11, 2010

POLICE YESTERDAY arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with a seven-year-old theft of two antique church doors.
According to police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos, unknown assailants broke into the UNESCO-protected church Panayias tis Podithou in Galata between January 19 and 21 in 2003, taking with them two doors leading to the sanctuary.
The sanctuary doors date back to the 18th century and are considered to be of great archaeological, historical and cultural value.
The spokesman said that the 66-year-old was arrested in connection with the theft of the two doors a little after midday following a coordinated month-long operation undertaken by Morphou and Limassol Police.
The 66-year-old had allegedly tried to negotiate the sale of the two doors by contacting via phone the Church Committee in Galata. They in turn contacted police which traced the call to a public phone box. Police put a surveillance team on the phone box, eventually leading to the man’s arrest. Katsounotos said police were investigating some claims made by the suspect regarding possession of the doors. An archaeologist would have to formally identify the church doors though at first instance, they looked to be the real deal, he added.
The 66-year-old will be brought before the Nicosia District Court today for a remand hearing.

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