Museum of the Bible Leaders Return Handwritten 10th Century Gospel Manuscript

Museum of the Bible Leaders have returned the handwritten 10th Century Gospel manuscript which was stolen from Greece.

The manuscript, known as "Evangelistary Manuscript 220," was one of many artifacts and priceless pieces stolen from the Theotokos Eikosiphoinissa Monastery in Greece during World War I. It was alleged that Bulgarian troops took the manuscript in 1917.

In 2011, The Christian Post reported that the Museum of the Bible bought the manuscript at a Christie's auction. In 2020, the museum said they would return the manuscript. However, Greece said the museum could display it until October 2021.

This week, the Founder of Museum of the Bible, Steve Green, formally returned the manuscript. The ceremony was officiated by archbishop Elpidophoros of America and attended by Agathangelos Siskos, archivist of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Green was awarded the highest honor of Metropolis of Drama, the "Grand Cross," by Metropolitan Panteleimon of Xanthi.

In a statement sent to CP, Green said, "We are honored to partner with the Ecumenical Patriarch on a permanent exhibition of biblical manuscripts and religious objects connected to the Bible."

In a statement, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the world leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church, said he was grateful to the Museum of the Bible.

In his words: "It is a true blessing for the monastic sisterhood and the Christian world to see the religious artifacts that were removed from the Monastery officially return to their natural home and used hereafter for the spiritual edification of the faithful, and by art and history scholars."

The museum's Chief Curatorial Officer, Jeffrey Kloha said the manuscript "tells of at least two communities that used it for prayer and devotion century after century and of the day of violence and sacrilege over a century ago.

"Now, this manuscript can tell a new story, a story of reunion and hope that the pages of this manuscript will continue to give light, even though many have tried to extinguish that light."

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