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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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.                   

In this powerful memoir, Tasoula Hadjitofi reveals her perilous journey orchestrating “The Munich Case”—one of the largest European art trafficking stings since WWII. With the Bavarian police in place, the Cypriots on their way, seventy under-cover agents bust into the Munich apartment of a notorious Turkish smuggler suspected of holding looted antiquities. Tasoula places everything on the line to repatriate her country’s sacred treasures, unaware that treachery lies in the shadow of her success.

The Icon Hunter is a story torn from the pages of Tasoula's life as she and her Greek Cypriot family lose everything during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Hundreds of ancient Cypriot churches are destroyed, their contents looted and all signs of her Greek Cypriot culture erased as if it never existed. As a refugee, she wants justice. And then fate intervenes in the form of an archbishop and a dubious art dealer in search of redemption.

Even as unspeakable personal tragedy strikes, she never gives up her search knowing the special place these antiquities hold in the hearts of Orthodox Christians. These icons are not just masterpieces—they are artistic manifestations of faith and a gate-way to the divine.

Using family and faith as her touchstones, Tasoula takes on these “merchants of God” as she navigates the underworld of art trafficking. Tasoula believes this to be her calling, and the Archbishop of Cyprus entrusts her—an ordinary woman, wife, and mother—with the mission. In order to succeed, however, she must place her trust in an art dealer known for his double-dealing.

Inspiring and empowering, The Icon Hunter is a gripping story by a remarkable woman that will captivate readers long after the nal page. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681773810
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 1,047,153
File size: 38 MB
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About the Author

Tasoula Hadjitofi was 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. Her goal is always to return home to the "Ghost City" of Famagusta.  Tasoula is 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 and hopes that Walk of Truth and this book will empower 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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