Since the end of communism in Albania, an increasing number of priceless works of art have been stolen from Orthodox churches. Now, a theft that left historic frescoes destroyed has finally caused an uproar.
With knives and axes, art thieves destroyed historic frescoes in a small church in Elbasan in central Albania in January. In trying to remove the wall painting, they ended up shredding it. In February, robbers similarly descended on a church in southern Himara. The churches in both cases were Orthodox, the richly decorated interiors of which are particularly attractive to art thieves.