On March 13, 2019, the British Library delivered to the Greek Embassy in London three manuscripts, which had been illegally removed in April 1979 from the Holy Monastery of Panagia Chrysopodaritissa in Achaia, Peloponnese.
The two manuscripts are Patriarchal sigillia dated in the eighteenth century, issued by the Oecumenical Patriarchs Procopius I (1786) and Gregory V (1798) referring to the stavropegial rights of the Monastery. The third one is a Turkish Firman of the eighteenth century belonging to the same collection.
In 2016, the competent Ephorate of Antiquities in Achaia informed the Directorate of Documentation and Protection of Cultural Goods of the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture and Sports about the current location of the manuscripts in the British Library. Immediately and systematically, the Directorate collected all documentation that securely affirmed the illicit trafficking of these relics and sent a request to the British Library for their return.
The British Library responded immediately and cooperated excellently with the competent Greek Authorities so as to safely return the relics to Greece, showing its vivid interest in cultural heritage protection.