The Icon Hunter by Tasoula Georgiou Hadjitofi
A Refugee's Quest to Reclaim Her Nation's Stolen Heritage

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The author’s work is also a personal memoir, not only of her life in Cyprus, but also of her struggles as a young woman trying to start a family and maintain her IT business, Octagon. Her journey is endearing, and she brings the plight of the Cypriots into sharper focus.
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Synopsis

One woman’s pursuit of justice leads her on a riveting adventure into the world of art trafficking.                   


In this powerful memoir, Tasoula Hadjitofi reveals her perilous journey orchestrating “The Munich Case”—one of the largest European art trafficking stings since WWII. With the Bavarian police in place, the Cypriots on their way, seventy under-cover agents bust into the Munich apartment of a notorious Turkish smuggler suspected of holding looted antiquities. Tasoula places everything on the line to repatriate her country’s sacred treasures, unaware that treachery lies in the shadow of her success.


The Icon Hunter is a story torn from the pages of Tasoula's life as she and her Greek Cypriot family lose everything during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Hundreds of ancient Cypriot churches are destroyed, their contents looted and all signs of her Greek Cypriot culture erased as if it never existed. As a refugee, she wants justice. And then fate intervenes in the form of an archbishop and a dubious art dealer in search of redemption.


Even as unspeakable personal tragedy strikes, she never gives up her search knowing the special place these antiquities hold in the hearts of Orthodox Christians. These icons are not just masterpieces—they are artistic manifestations of faith and a gate-way to the divine.


Using family and faith as her touchstones, Tasoula takes on these “merchants of God” as she navigates the underworld of art trafficking. Tasoula believes this to be her calling, and the Archbishop of Cyprus entrusts her—an ordinary woman, wife, and mother—with the mission. In order to succeed, however, she must place her trust in an art dealer known for his double-dealing.


Inspiring and empowering, The Icon Hunter is a gripping story by a remarkable woman that will captivate readers long after the nal page. 

 

About Tasoula Georgiou Hadjitofi

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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. Her goal is always to return home to the "Ghost City" of Famagusta. Tasoula 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 and hopes that Walk of Truth and this book will empower and connect every refugee around the world who wishes to use the lessons learned from Cyprus for their own country.
 
Published April 11, 2017 by Pegasus Books. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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on Feb 19 2017

The author’s work is also a personal memoir, not only of her life in Cyprus, but also of her struggles as a young woman trying to start a family and maintain her IT business, Octagon. Her journey is endearing, and she brings the plight of the Cypriots into sharper focus.

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