Russia's Embassy to Mexico hosted on Friday the ceremony of the fifteenth-century Transfiguration icon's return to Russia. The icon had been stolen in 1957 in a Moscow church.
Margaret Smith, the widow of a high-ranking Mexican diplomat who had worked in Moscow in 1960s, passed the creation of ancient Russian icon-painters back to Russia. Her husband had in his time taken the icon out of the USSR legally.
Some time ago the diplomat's widow decided to sell it to a private New York gallery, and learnt the icon had been stolen. Margaret Smith made up her mind to pass the shrine, whose cost is estimated at the world antiques market at several hundred thousand USD, to its legal owner.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969