AKIPRESS.COM - A 1,600-year-old missing mosaic has finally returned to its home in Cyprus, more than four decades after it was looted from a church, CNN reports.
Dutch art historian and art crime investigator Arthur Brand spent the past three years tracking down the stolen artifact, a Byzantine-era depiction of Saint Mark, Brand said on his website.
The relic was handed over to the Cypriot Antiquities Department and the Church of Cyprus during a ceremony at the Hague in the Netherlands on Sunday, according to Cyprus News Agency.
The sixth-century mosaic was stolen from the church of Panaya Kanakaria in northern Cyprus following the Turkish invasion in 1974. It was one of several icons looted from the church during this time and believed to be the last recovered.
The mosaic of Saint Mark, believed to have been made around 550 AD, was one of many that adorned the walls of the Panaya Kanakaria church, about 65 miles northeast of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia.