News from Europe

Stolen relic of Precious Blood of Jesus returned by thieves

Whoever broke into a medieval French church last month and stole a golden reliquary containing what is said to be the Precious Blood of Jesus appears to have had second thoughts.

It seems that once the thieves discovered that the box contained a relic of Jesus, they wanted nothing to do with it.

“They had no idea what they had stolen until they found out on the internet,” Arthur Brand, a Dutch investigator who specializes in recovering high-profile artefacts and stolen works of art, told CNA, “and that’s when they start panicking a bit.”

Brand, whose resume includes the reclamation of a $28 million Picasso and a set of bronze horses once owned by Adolph Hitler, learned of their misgivings from an email that appeared in his inbox one day.

The email purported to be from someone speaking on behalf of the thieves, who weeks earlier had pinched the ornate, centuries-old box from the sacristy of Holy Trinity Abbey in the town of Fécamp in Normandy, France.

Would Brand help them return it to the abbey? No questions asked?

The seasoned detective understood their predicament.

“First of all, you can’t sell such a relic, of course. And apart from that, I think they thought it would bring them very bad luck,” he explained. “So they said, ‘We want to return it, but we don’t want to get caught.’”

The emailer made Brand, a Catholic, an offer he couldn’t refuse. Unless he agreed to take the reliquary off the thieves’ hands, they’d destroy it.

Full article here.

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