"They're a hot commodity ... so demand is high"

One of the most sacred symbols of Greece, a 700-year-old icon of the Virgin Mary, was stolen on Aug. 18 from a remote monastery 300 km southeast of Athens.[an error occurred while processing this directive] Despite an international manhunt, the thieves are still at large. George Gligoris, head of the national police unit that investigates antiquities smuggling, profiles the thieves and explains how he recovers stolen treasures.

Why Byzantine icons?
They're a hot commodity. Only a few are left, so demand is high.

What's the profile of an antiquities thief?
There are three types....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!