NEWS

Police rethink theft of icon

Police plan to reconstruct the theft of a precious icon from the Elona Monastery in the eastern Peloponnese to examine if authorities have been following false leads in the case, sources said yesterday. The icon was stolen 11 days ago from the monastery, which is perched on a cliff. Until now, officers believed the thieves had used a rope to scale down the cliff and escape with the icon. However, police now fear that the rope was left there to obstruct the investigation. Sources said that officers have asked an experienced rock climber to help them reconstruct the crime and test this theory. If the re-enactment indeed indicates that the rope was a ruse, police say they will investigate whether someone inside the monastery may have assisted in the theft. The hunt for the 700-year-old icon of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus has not led to any arrests so far. Five people detained last week for questioning did not provide any new information and have been released, sources said.