The Okon triptych should be handed over to South Ossetia, - Director of the National Museum

Mon, 23/01/2023 - 12:54

South Ossetia should raise the issue of returning the unique Okon triptych, stolen from the Republic's museum in the 1990s, at all possible venues. Merab Zasseev, director of the National Museum, told IA “Res” about this.

Zasseev has expressed confidence that the Georgian side is not considering the need to transfer the Okon triptych to the South Ossetian side.

“But we must speak loudly about the return of the triptych, because here we are talking about historical justice. The Okon triptych belongs to South Ossetia, we don’t need someone else’s, but we will demand ours,” Zasseev said.

Director of the National Museum noted that to hush up the problem means to come to terms with the existing situation.

“Our main value is our traditions, the heritage that we carry as descendants of great ancestors who influenced the course of history. We must value and cherish this heritage. And this icon helps only those who have it legally,” Zasseev has emphasized.

He has expressed the hope that someday conditions will be created under which it will be possible to resolve this issue.

It should be reminded that the icon was stolen from the local history museum in Tskhinval in January 1991.

It was later discovered while trying to sell at the auction in Geneva in 2001.

On the reverse side of the icon was the inscription indicating that it belonged to the Tskhinval museum. The rarity was arrested by the police and removed from the auction.

The fact of the attempt to sell the ancient relic at the auction in Geneva was publicized in the media, and the authorities of South Ossetia and Georgia made a request for the transfer of the icon.

On May 26, 2004, the Swiss Ambassador to Georgia handed over the triptych personally to the then President Mikheil Saakashvili.

The issue of returning the unique icon stolen from South Ossetia was repeatedly raised at the Geneva discussions and within the framework of the IPRM, but so far in vain.

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