Bulgarian suspects in museum vandalism cite the Bible

Bulgarian suspects in museum vandalism cite the Bible

Two women who were detained on Sunday on suspicion of spraying a number of exhibits in Athens’s top museums with an oily substance cited the Bible to explain their actions.

The suspects were stopped at the city’s National Historical Museum on Sunday when an employee saw one of them touching an exhibit case with oily hands. Museum officials alerted police.

The Bulgarian nationals, aged 48 and 51, reportedly told authorities they believed that, according to the Bible, if they daubed religious icons with oil it would help them overcome difficulties they are facing in their personal lives.

Authorities are investigating their involvement in two similar incidents at the Byzantine and Christian Museum and the Benaki Museum.

On July 28, two people entered the halls of the Byzantine Museum holding both temporary and permanent exhibits and sprayed more than 200 valuable displays with an oily substance.

In August, the Benaki Museum issued a press release saying unknown individuals had sprayed an "odourless and colourless oily substance" on exhibits.

No permanent damage was caused to the objects on display at the Byzantine Museum, the Culture Ministry said in a recent statement.

The suspects will be led before the prosecutor at noon on Monday.

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