Church art thefts - Stealing our heritage

Even at this time of great difficulty most Greeks will, rightly, react with vehemence when the Parthenon Marbles are mentioned.

More commonly known as the Elgin Marbles after Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin who removed the pieces while ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

Most Greeks still regard this as, at best, looting or more usually, as theft.

We should regard the recent spate of robberies of art works or precious religious materials from churches in the same light because the works involved are part of our collective heritage.

The recent theft of six Evie Hone paintings from a Galway church is the latest in a spate of these robberies. Any community lucky enough to host some of these works should not apologise for protecting them, assertively if needs be.

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