Monks allegedly stole from Lesvos chapel

Four monks, one of whom has a criminal record, have been arrested for allegedly stealing antiquities from a chapel on the island of Lesvos, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. A livestock farmer notified police late on Wednesday after seeing the group of monks removing marble sculptures embedded in the wall of the chapel of the Virgin with Three Hands. The parapets originally came from an Early Christian church in the region. The monks, from the Monastery of Aghia Paraskevi at Mazi, Megara, denied taking the antiquities, saying they had gone to the chapel to pray. One of the four, Sotirios Tzintziras, known by the monastic name Evergetinos, had once been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for bearing a weapon and issuing threats. Tzintziras, Isidoros Kritikos, Constantine Daras and Fotios Saltas, will appear before an investigating judge today.