Hunt for icon heads to sea

Police were searching boats yesterday off the coast of the eastern Peloponnese for a 700-year-old icon stolen last Friday from the Elona Monastery in Arcadia. Sources said leaves for officers in the area were canceled after efforts to capture the thieves went nowhere. Area police chiefs and officers were called back from their vacations to help in the search. Sources said boats moored or sailing in the sea off Arcadia are being searched as part of the hunt for the gold icon, which measures just 50×40 centimeters. Forensic teams also arrived at the cliffside monastery to dust for fingerprints and take samples for DNA testing. Police believe that the icon of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus was stolen on order, either for a collector or for a rich person who is suffering from an illness and wants to benefit from the healing powers the image is said to possess.

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