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Getty Museum returns to Greece a 12th century manuscript of the New Testament

10 April 2014 / 18:04:53  GRReporter
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The Getty Museum has announced that it will return to Greece a valuable 12th century edition of the New Testament. The manuscript will be delivered to the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou on Mount Athos from which it was stolen 50 years ago.

The valuable relic is a copy of the New Testament made by Theoctistus in 1131 and it is considered a masterpiece of post-Byzantine art. The museum obtained the manuscript 30 years ago.

"Over the past six weeks the Getty Museum has worked cooperatively with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports to understand the recent history of this manuscript and to resolve the matter of its rightful ownership in a timely fashion," states museum director Timothy Potts.

"Based on new information that came to us through this process, the museum decided that the right course of action would be to return the manuscript to the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou from which it disappeared over 50 years ago," added Potts. In his words, a report of the monastery from 1960 played a crucial role for the final decision of the Getty Museum.

The museum management announced that it had obtained the manuscript in 1983 "as part of a large and well-documented" collection, as considered then.

The museum will display the valuable relic until 22 June within an exhibition of Byzantine art and will thereafter return it to Greece.

The New Testament will be delivered to its legitimate owners on Mount Athos three years after the Getty Museum and Greece signed a general memorandum expressing their agreement to prevent the smuggling of antiquities.

The permanent collection of the museum is available here.

Tags: HistoryGetty Museum12th centuryHoly Monastery of DionysiouMount AthosByzantine art
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