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Police Recover Stolen Icons

October 8, 1996

TIRANA, Albania (AP) _ Five icons stolen two years ago from the National Museum _ including one that ranks among the most valuable in Europe _ have been found in a Tirana apartment.

Three people were in police custody and others were being questioned, Albanian media reported Tuesday.

The oldest of the stolen objects was the ``Epitaph of Gllavenica″ dating to 1373, which experts consider one of the three most important icons in Europe.

The other four icons were painted by David Selenica, a well-known Albanian painter of the 18th century, and Onufri, another noted painter of the 16th century.

Police said other stolen objects recovered in the apartment included a pistol that belonged to the late communist dictator Enver Hoxha.

Many works of art have been stolen in Albania since 1990, when the communist regime started to collapse. Many Albanian museums lack modern security systems.

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