TBILISI (Armenpress)–The owner of an ancient Armenian bible–valued at $2 million–which was seized earlier this week at Ankara’s Ataturk airport from a smuggler was identified as 61-year-old Yegaderina Hakopova.
The Georgian Prime News Agency quoted Hakopova as saying that the two-volume Armenian bible was stolen from her Moscow home one year ago. She said the bible belonged to her mother and had been in safe keeping at her residence for more than 30 years.
According to Hakopova’s mother’s will–she could only give the bible to St. Mary’s Church in Gumri–Armenia. The bible was not to have been sold–since the mother believed it would be a sin.
To fulfill her mother’s wishes–Hakopova traveled to Gumri and presented the bible to the pastor of the St. Mary’s Church–who promised that he would keep the bible safe. However–the pastor told Hakopova that he opted to return to the United States–from where he was dispatched to Gumri.
Concerned about the fate of the bible–Hakopova did not leave the bible at the church and returned to Tbilisi with the volumes.
Hakopova explained that while she was residing in Moscow–he apartment was robbed and among the items stolen from her residence was the two-volume bible. She added that aside from her immediate family–only another relative living in Gumri knew about the bible.
In order to retrieve the bible–Hakopova intends to appeal to the Turkish Embassy in Tbilisi.