Priceless icons, relics stolenMore than 50 icons and other priceless religious artifacts dating to the 15th and 16th centuries were stolen from a church in Zagorochoria, Ioannina, including the relics of Saints Panteleimonas and Haralambos.
The theft was discovered by the local priest and parishioners when they arrived at the Church of the Virgin (Panaghia) in the village of Koukouli for the Christmas service.
The burglars broke into the Church from a small window after cutting its iron frame.
According to an initial inventory, the burglars made away with more than 50 icons, several gospels, exapteriga (six-winged liturgical ripidia), chalices, relics of Saints Panteleimonas and Haralambos, and several other sacred vessels, all of great value dated to the time of the church's construction between the 15th and 16th century.
Several years earlier, burglars had stolen the church's priceless Epitaphios (carved bier of Jesus Christ carried throughout the community in a funerary procession on Good Friday).
Police have launched a manhunt for the thieves.