Repatriated 6th century mosaic to help reconstitute apse
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A Cyprus Orthodox Church official says a rare, 1.500 year-old mosaic depicting Saint Mark has joined other repatriated pieces that were looted from the ethnically split island nation’s breakaway north.
Together the pieces will create a reproduction of an apse that adorned a 6th century church in island’s north.
The mosaics were stolen by Turkish art dealer Aydin Dikman from the Church of the Virgin of Kanakaria some four decades ago and sold abroad.
Cyprus’ Byzantine Museum Director Ioannis Eliades told The Associated Press Wednesday that the apse will go on display at the museum until it can return to the Kanakaria church.
The Kanakaria mosaics are among a few surviving early Christian mosaics. The St. Mark mosaic returned to Cyprus after Dutch investigator Arthur Brand tracked it down.