Cross of 12th century Byzantine chapel stolen in southern Turkey
ANTALYA – DHA
The cross of a 12th century Byzantine chapel, located outside the ancient city of Myra in the southern province of Antalya, has reportedly been stolen.
Demre District Governor Murat Uz said an investigation has been opened into the theft, and they believe the 20-centimeter long marble cross was stolen in the last three or four days.
“The Culture and Tourism Ministry will make the necessary statement soon,” said Uz.
The theft was noticed by security officials at Myra and a family living next to the chapel.
The Byzantine chapel was unearthed during excavations in 2010 carried out by Professor Nevzat Çevik, a member of the Akdeniz University Archaeology Department and the head of the Myra excavations, and Professor Engin Akyürek from the Byzantine History Department of Istanbul University.
The ancient chapel was restored with the contributions of then Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay and taken under protection with tight security measures.
The 5.5-meter deep chapel is closed to visitors and is covered to prevent damage from the rain.
There are also Santa Claus, Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ figures at the entrance of the chapel.