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Fiercely guarding the Byzantium icon

12 February 2010 / 16:02:59  GRReporter
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Security measures as from a James Bond movie will be taken for the transportation of the “Resurrection day” (14th century) icon. It will be transferred from the Byzantium museum in Athens to the “Resurrection” temple in the Monemvasia village, from which it was stolen in 1979. After thirty years the icon comes back to its home, where it will be exhibited on an alter in the chapel “St. John” specifically made for it. One year after it was stolen from the church in the Peloponnesus village Monemvasia the icon was found broken into six peaces.

It is believed that the icon “Resurrection day” is one of the biggest and most beautiful ones from the period of the Renaissance during the government of the Palaiologos and was created in Constantinople or in Mistra. It will be guarded by extremely modern security measures and it will be closed in a special “black box” which will be connected to seven mobile telephones, which in any moment will provide information on its position.

When the icon arrives in the chapel “St. John” which was restored especially to accept the icon, it will be placed behind double glasses and a system of 12 000 pixels which will observe in every two seconds for the original icon not to be replaced with its copy. Every strange change is recorded and automatically triggers the alarm.

The security of the icon will be 24 hours and father Konstantinos Kripotos said that “if it is necessary all the residents of the Monemvasia village will come out in front of the church in order to protect the icon and not to lose it again and never see it again.”

From the Byzantium museum in Athens unwillingly approved the transfer of the icon not only because it is already a part of the permanent collection, but also because when it was found broken into six peaces it was very hard to be restored.

From the museum experts fear that the worshipers who will be coming in crowds in the small chapel will affect the condition of the icon. That is why the bishop’s residence decided to control the entrance of visitors and that they should only enter five at a time, while the icon will be kept in a special glass, where there is a possibility for control of the temperature and the humidity of the air.

Tags: HistoryPeloponnese
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