Leaders from the Museum of the bible in Washington DC travelled to Greece this week to formally return a tenth century, handwritten Gospel manuscript that is said to have been looted by Bulgarian troops in 1917.
The manuscript, known as “Evangelistary Manuscript 220,” is one of the world’s oldest hand-lettered Gospels and was among hundreds of priceless objects looted from the Theotokos Eikosiphoinissa (Kosinitza) Monastery in Greece during World War I.
Without knowing this, the Museum of the Bible purchased the manuscript at a Christie’s auction in 2011. A formal return ceremony was held Thursday at the historic monastery in Drama, officiated by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.
The ceremony was attended by Agathangelos Siskos, archivist of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; and Museum of the Bible Founder Steve Green, who is also the president of the craft store chain Hobby Lobby.