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The Icon Hunter

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Tasoula Hadjitofi was only a child when her homeland, Cyprus, was invaded. As bombs fell and soldiers marched through the streets, her mother stood guard, reminding her children to not be afraid—not of the bombs or anything else that may follow. They would always have their family and their faith. Soon thereafter, Tasoula found herself homeless and nation-less. A refugee. Decades later, she's a successful entrepreneur and the honorary Cypriot consul to The Netherlands. But family and faith remained her touchstones—and she never lost her longing for "home." She often thought of the gorgeous Cypriot churches and their icons. One day, an art dealer offers her a chance to buy Cyprian icons stolen during the war. Icons hold a special place in the hearts of many Greek Cypriots. They are not just masterpieces—they are artistic manifestations of faith and a gateway to the divine.Outraged, Tasoula sets out on a quest to repatriate these artifacts. An immensely difficult task as icons often lack provenance in the eyes of the law. But she is determined. Yet the road to “The Munich Case”—the largest art trafficking sting in European history—is filled with mind games, subterfuge, global politics, and a shady figure named Van Rinj, whose motives are never entirely clear...

Tasoula Hadjitofi was born in Famagusta, Cyprus. In 1974, she and her family were forced to flee their home due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the outbreak of war. Tasoula has served as the Honorary Consul of Cyprus in The Netherlands and while holding this office she spent more than two decades recovering the stolen cultural and religious heritage of her homeland. Her efforts culminated in the 1997 “Munich Case,” one of the largest art trafficking sting operations in European history. She is the founder of Walk Of Truth, a non-governmental organization whose mission is to raise awareness about the importance of preserving cultural heritage in conflict areas. She lives in the Netherlands with her family.