Icon returned to monastery

Police handed over yesterday a 700-year-old icon that had been stolen in August from a monastery in the eastern Peloponnese in a ceremony attended by Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras and hundreds of worshipers. Police last week recovered the icon of the Virgin Mary, credited with the power to heal and work miracles, which was stolen on August 18 from the cliff-top convent of Elonas, near the town of Leonidio. Police recovered the icon, hidden outside a nearby church, and arrested a Romanian man after a five-week investigation. Police found in the man’s possession votive offerings which had been stolen along with the religious painting that measures 40 by 50 centimeters. Polydoras said the icon serves as a «shelter and a sanctuary for the Greek people.»