The Icon Hunter: A Refugee's Quest to Reclaim Her Nation's Stolen Heritage

The Icon Hunter: A Refugee's Quest to Reclaim Her Nation's Stolen Heritage

by Tasoula Georgiou Hadjitofi

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Overview

The Icon Hunter: A Refugee's Quest to Reclaim Her Nation's Stolen Heritage by Tasoula Georgiou Hadjitofi

One woman's pursuit of justice leads her on a riveting adventure into the world of art trafficking.Tasoula Hadjitofi was only a child when her homeland, Cyprus, was invaded. As bombs fell and soldiers marched through the streets, her mother stood guard, reminding her children to not be afraid?not of the bombs or anything else that may follow. They would always have their family and their faith. Soon thereafter, Tasoula found herself homeless and nation-less. A refugee.Decades later, she's a successful entrepreneur and the Honorary Consul of Cyprus in The Netherlands.But family and faithhave remained her touchstones?and she'snever lost her longing for "home" or for the gorgeous Cypriot churches and their icons. One day, adubiousart dealer offers her a chance to buy stolen sacred artifacts looted from Cyprusduring the war. Icons hold a special place in the hearts of Orthodox Christians.They are not just masterpieces?they are artistic manifestations of faith and a gateway to the divine.Outraged, Tasoula sets out on a quest to repatriate these artifacts. An immenselylegally challenging and expensive undertaking, as provenance of icons are and other holy artifacts are easily manipulated by corrupt dealers and greedy auction houses. Taking on these "merchants ofGod" will test Tasoula's fortitude and threaten her safety, yet shefeels this mission is her calling. In this book, she reveals her perilous road to “The Munich Case”?the largest art trafficking sting in European historysince WWII?which is filled with mind games, subterfuge, global politics, and asshadyfigure named Van Rijn, whose motives are never entirely clear... By turns heart-pounding and inspiring,The Icon Hunteris a powerful and gripping story that will resonate long after the final page.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681773230
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 1,221,516
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Tasoula Hadjitofiwas born in Famagusta, Cyprus. In 1974, she and her family were forced to flee their home due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the outbreak of war. Tasoula has served as the Honorary Consul of Cyprus in The Netherlands, and while holding this office she spent more than two decades recovering the stolen cultural and religious heritage of her homeland. Her efforts culminated in the 1997 “Munich Case,” one of the largest art trafficking sting operations in European history.Likea modern-dayAntigone,sheseeks to challengethe systemandestablishment, change laws and dispel stereotypes. Her goal is always to returnhome to the"GhostCity"of Famagusta.Tasoulais the founder of Walk Of Truth, a non-governmental organization whose mission is to raise awareness about the importance of preserving cultural heritage in conflict areas.She lives in the Netherlands with her family andhopes that Walk of Truth and this book willempower and connect every refugee around the world who wishes to use the lessons learned from Cyprus for their own country.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

A Note from the Author xiii

Introduction: Resurrection xv

1 The Set-Up 1

2 Here We Go Again 7

3 The Surprise 23

4 Date With A Devil 42

5 Refugee 50

6 The Dance 59

7 A Sign 73

8 Chasing Truth 84

9 Happy New Year! 89

10 Baptism By Fire 95

11 Life and Death 108

12 What Lies Beneath 123

13 The Birth Of An Icon Hunter 139

14 On My Own 155

15 No Justice 176

16 No Peace 196

17 The Road to Munich 206

18 Not So Funny Business 217

19 In The Name of the Father 224

20 The Return 229

21 Testing … One, Two 240

22 Capturing The Gold 247

23 Lessons Learned 259

24 Power Struggle 268

25 Tactical Warfare 274

26 The Devil Is In The Details 279

27 Return Of The Refugees 287

28 It's Criminal 294

29 Civil Unrest 302

30 Making Peace

31 Dealers of God 336

32 Walk Of Truth 338

33 It Ain't Over 342

Epilogue 343

Endnotes 347

Acknowledgments 357

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