Friday, June 4, 2010

Thieves target historic 11th century monastery in south Albania

Unknown suspects broke into a church at the Douviani Monastery compound in the Kato (Lower) Dropoli district of Gjirokastr prefecture in southern Albania and reportedly removed an old wooden cross, icons, as well as an old embroidered cloth considered of significant cultural and historical value.

Part of church’s iconostasis (the screen decorated with icons that divides the sanctuary from the nave of an Eastern Orthodox church) was also destroyed.

This was the fourth time the monastery has been targeted by thieves and vandals.
A second church in the same village was also broken into but nothing was removed.
The monastery is dated to the middle Byzantine Era, circa 1089.

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