Police Track Down Stolen Greek Artifacts
SUDBURY, Ontario (AP) _ A 500-year-old handwritten parchment dictionary and other Greek antiquities stolen from a Cretan monastery more than 20 years ago will be returned to their homeland.
A Greek diplomat traveled to Ontario this weekend to retrieve the seven religious artifacts, which were found by police during a 1994 drug raid.
Police seized the items ``by chance″ and didn’t know where they belonged, said Staff Sgt. Paul Murdock of the Sudbury regional police.
The artifacts gathered dust in the police property room until officers traced them to a 1974 robbery from a monastery on Crete, a Mediterranean island that also marks the southern limit of the Aegean Sea.
The stolen treasures also include two grails, a wooden cross holder and a silver-buckled clerical belt interwoven with gold.
Police believe the artifacts were smuggled into Canada by a Greek immigrant, George Mastorakis of Sudbury, who has been charged with possession of stolen property.