Singer returns religious artefact he acquired in 1985

Boy George has returned an icon of Christ, which had been in his possession for over 26 years, to the Church of Cyprus.

The Culture Club singer bought the icon, which was stolen from the church during the 1974 Turkish invasion, from a London art dealer in 1985 without knowing its origin.

He has now returned the icon to the church, which is in the Cypriot village of New Chorio-Kythrea, gave evidence proving it was its rightful owner.

George, real name is George O’Dowd, told BBC News: “I have always been a friend of Cyprus and have looked after the icon for 26 years.” He added he was “happy the icon is going back to its original rightful home”.

Bishop Porfyrios of Neapolis thanked the singer as he handed over the icon at the St Anagyre church in London. He added that George had “contributed to the efforts of the Church of Cyprus for the repatriation of its stolen spiritual treasures”.