German court orders Cypriot treasures return
• Mon, Sep 27, 2010
A German court has ordered the repatriation of priceless Cypriot treasures, stolen from Cyprus’ northern Turkish occupied part of the country.
A press release, issued by the Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus, says that in 2004 the Republic of Cyprus, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Church of the Maronites and the Church of the Armenians filed a civil law suit before Munich District Court to retrieve stolen antiquities, which had been in the custody for the Bavarian authorities since 1997.
The said antiquities were located in 1997 by the Bavarian police, hidden in between walls and under the floor of two flats which belong to a Turkish national, Aydin Dickmen, in Munich. Part of the findings include religious icons, part of mosaics and pieces of Byzantine frescoes of priceless historic, cultural and religious value.
Since these were located, the government and the Church of Cyprus had made several moves to have these artifacts repatriated. The moves did not yield any results and it was decided to file a civil law suit before the German courts. On Thursday, 23 September, Munich District Court issued its decision on the law suit against Dickmen which vindicated fully the Church of Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus.
“The Court ruling puts an end to a difficult and hard legal battle, which lasted six years, by ordering the return of our cultural heritage treasures,” the press release said. It added that the Court ruling is subject to appeal. — (KYPE)