Icon scandal: Ukraine’s ambassador meets with Bosnian officials

Icon scandal: Ukraine’s ambassador meets with Bosnian officials

Ambassador of Ukraine to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina Vasyl Kyrylych discussed with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bisera Turković the access of Ukrainian experts to the Orthodox icon, around which the scandal arose, and its return to Ukraine.

"I and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bisera Turković discussed the return of the icon to Ukraine. I hope for prompt determination of the date of arrival of Ukrainian experts in Sarajevo and assistance in the access to the Ukrainian icon for them," Kyrylych posted on Twitter.

The ambassador also said that he had discussed with the Prosecutor General of Bosnia and Herzegovina the issues of cooperation between the two sides in the case of the icon. "The Prosecutor General assured that a large number of investigative actions had been carried out in this case," Kyrylych informed.

As reported, a scandal over an Orthodox icon of Ukrainian origin arose when Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik presented it to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on December 14, 2020.

On December 17, the Embassy of Ukraine in Bosnia and Herzegovina sent a note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a request to provide information on the origin of the gilded ancient icon donated to Lavrov.

On December 21, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine analyzed the image of a mark on the icon published in the media and found out its origin. The mark turned out to be a seal of the Odesa Regional Commission for the Protection of Monuments of Material Culture and Nature, established at the Odesa Historical and Archaeological Museum in 1926.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia later said it had returned the icon to the BiH embassy to investigate its origin with the participation of Interpol.

The Bosnian ambassador to Moscow said he had personally brought the icon from Moscow and handed it over to Milorad Dodik’s office.


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