NEWS

Boy George returns icon

A representative of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus yesterday thanked British pop singer Boy George for returning a religious artifact that has been missing since it was looted from a church in the Turkish-occupied north of the island following the invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Boy George agreed to return the 18th-century icon he bought from a central London art dealer in 1985 after being informed about its history, the church said in a statement posted on its website. «He said he bought the icon in good faith without knowing its true origin,» the statement said. Church officials said they spotted the Byzantine portrait of Christ during an interview with the pop star on Dutch TV last November. Boy George personally handed over the icon to Bishop Porfyrios, the Cyprus Church’s representative in Brussels who traveled to London to collect it on Tuesday. The bishop said the singer had asked for no compensation. «I have looked after the icon for 26 years,» Boy George told BBC News. «I’m happy it’s going back to its original rightful home.»