Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Artifacts to be Returned to Cyprus Volume 57 Number 5, September/October 2004

(Courtesy Ministry of Culture, Republic of Cyprus) [LARGER IMAGE]

Found packed in a suitcase, this fifteenth-century fresco from Cyprus was among hundreds of antiquities seized by German authorities in Munich in 1997. They were the plunder of Aydin Dikmen, a smuggler who systematically stripped churches in northern Cyprus after it was occupied by Turkish forces in 1974. A year ago the Republic of Cyprus and the Greek Orthodox, Armenian, and Maronite Churches sued for their return. The Munich state court has now ruled that the objects, valued at $52.4 million, should go back.

© 2004 by the Archaeological Institute of America