The Fécamp abbey church finds its precious reliquary, one year after its theft

Several artifacts stolen in June 2022 were ped to a Dutch private detective, presumably because they were unsaleable.

One moment “very moving»: the relic of the “Precious Blood of Christ”stolen in June 2022 and found a few weeks later in the Netherlands in incredible conditions, was returned on Wednesday to the abbey church of Fécamp, in Seine-Maritime. “I am experiencing something that is not permitted in the life of an elected official. These relics are our history, a medieval history», Declared the mayor of Fécamp David Roussel to the press.

On Wednesday, the gold reliquary, one of the most sacred objects ever stolen from the Catholic Church, was presented to around a hundred faithful during a m at the Fécamp abbey church, where it has been kept since 12th century. It will then be placed in an undisclosed location. “We cannot say everything about strengthening security measures. We were accompanied by the regional directorate of Cultural Affairs and state services to protect the abbey church and the sacristy.», Specified the first deputy mayor, Pierre Aubry.

Drops of the blood of Jesus

The Bishop of Le Havre expressed his “gratitude to the investigating services which made this restitution possible“. “The relics of Precious Bloodare the sensitive support of faith, of their faith in Christ for the faithful. I express my satisfaction for the Christian community but also for the city of Fécamp», continued the religious. The sacred object, about 30 centimeters high, contains two metal vials containing drops of Jesus’ blood collected during the crucifixion, according to believers. A source of worship for Catholic pilgrims for nearly a millennium, it was stolen from Fécamp on the night of June 1 to 2, 2022, two weeks before the annual celebration of the “M of the Precious Blood“.

The reliquary was found a month later in the Netherlands by an art detective, Arthur Brand. He explained to AFP in mid-July 2022 that he had been warned by e-mail by an anonymous sender claiming to have the stolen loot in his possession. A cardboard box was then placed in front of his door, after a doorbell rang on the night of July 1st. In addition to the reliquary, the box also contained several copper liturgical plaques, depictions of saints and an ornate goblet, also stolen from the abbey church, according to the Dutch detective.

No culprit identified

This restitution illustrates the power of States when they act together and it testifies to the importance of international cooperation networks. The strategy of international distribution of stolen goods has borne fruit, making the stolen goods unsaleable and forcing the receivers to part with them.», welcomed Colonel Hubert Percie du Sert, head of the Central Office for Combating Trafficking in Cultural Property. The fear of investigators in cases of art theft is that the objects will go “very quickly in international receivership networks“. But, despite the investigations carried out by the OCBC and the territorial direction of the judicial police of Rouen, “no one has been implicated for the theft of the objects at this stage», added the colonel.

The technical and scientific police work that was carried out has yielded nothing at this stage but elements have been collected. This could allow us to move forward again in the weeks, months or years to come», Underlined for his part the director of the judicial police of Rouen, Fabien Lang.

Source link

Leave a Reply