Thursday, January 17, 2013

Swords cross over St Nicholas relics

The provost of Fribourg cathedral has offered a robust response to requests from Turkey that relics of St Nicholas - housed in the cathedral since the Middle Ages - should be returned to the saint's Turkish birthplace.

"We will never give the relics back. They belong to the Cathedral Chapter and to the people of Fribourg," Provost Claude Ducarroz of Fribourg Cathedral told the Fribourg daily La Liberté when asked if he intended to return the relics to Turkey.

The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has for some time been trying to recover cultural assets from abroad for an Antiquities Museum in Antalya. 

Over the New Year, Turkey asked the Vatican to return all of St Nicholas's relics, some of which are also in Bari, Italy.

Sailors from Bari rescued the saint's relics from Myra, which is now in Antalya, after it was conquered by Muslim invaders in the late eleventh century.

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