Neither Interpol nor Bosnian law enforcement authorities received a request to investigate the 300-year-old gilded icon from Luhansk, Ukraine which BiH Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik presented to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, either from Bosnia or Ukraine, the country's Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies said Tuesday.
“Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies of BiH – National Central Bureau (NBC) Interpol Sarajevo, within whose competence is international operational police cooperation, meaning the cooperation through Interpol, has not officially received a request for action by the competent authorities in BiH or the NCB Interpol from Kyiv in relation to this case,” the Directorate told Fena news agency.
In the meantime, they said, should such a request be submitted, the Directorate – NCB Interpol Sarajevo will act in accordance with its competencies.
In this regard, the Directorate noted that since 1947, the General Secretariat of Interpol in Lyon has developed an efficient system, ie a database of stolen works of art, which aims to more efficiently exchange police information, all with the aim of better control and protection of cultural goods and that this database is available to all Interpol members.
Ukrainian Embassy to Bosnia asked the country's Foreign Ministry to provide detailed information on the origin of the Orthodox Icon belonging to Ukrainian Cultural Heritage, which BiH Serb Presidency member gave to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during his official visit to the country on December 14.
Speaking to N1, Bosnia's Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic said that they had received a diplomatic note from the Embassy of Ukraine asking for a statement on how the 300-year-old icon was in the possession of a BiH official, more precisely, the Chairman of BiH Presidency, Milorad Dodik.
She added that the note was forwarded to the tripartite Presidency whose members need to provide a statement regarding the issue.