Byzantine-era Bible worth $1.5 million seized from smugglers

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 02.10.2017 19:20
Updated 02.10.2017 19:21
The Bible is written on gazelle vellum like another Bible seized in Turkey after it was smuggled from Syria. (AA Photo)
The Bible is written on gazelle vellum like another Bible seized in Turkey after it was smuggled from Syria. (AA Photo)

Turkish police confiscated a Byzantine-era Bible in the capital Ankara. A Syrian suspect was detained as he was trying to smuggle the artifact worth about $1.5 million abroad. Doğan News Agency reported that the Bible was smuggled from war-torn Syria.

The book, written on gazelle skin, is adorned with gold encrusted motifs that contain depictions of St. Paul, St. Peter, Gabriel, Jesus, the Virgin Mary and double-headed snakes.

In March, Turkish gendarmerie troops seized an ancient Bible that was also smuggled into Turkey from Syria. That Bible was stolen from a museum in war-torn Syria.

Turkey shares a lengthy border with Syria and has seen a tremendous influx of refugees fleeing from a country destroyed by the civil war entering its sixth year in March. Turkey claims that border security and customs officers are trained to deal with cross-border smuggling operations. Customs officials, art dealers and collectors were also given an emergency list of possible artifacts that could be smuggled into the country.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter