Wednesday, April 19th 6:30pm
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.
Tasoula and her Greek Cypriot family lose everything during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Hundreds of ancient Cypriot churches are destroyed, their contents looted or desecrated. 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.
In order to succeed, however, she must place her trust and even her safety in this same art dealer who is 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 final page.
“The Icon Hunter is not only a quest for justice but for spirituality as well. Tasoula Hadjitofi achieves both. She is truly brave and her work is a shining example to us all that a persevering woman is a force to reckon with. In the age of ISIS and the routine destruction of historic sites, art, and artifacts, Tasoula’s work is timely and an inspiration for all who care to preserve the human legacy of art. I simply cannot wait for this story to be turned into a movie. As a book, it is impossible to put down.”—Ayaan Hirsi Ali, New York Times bestselling author of Infidel
“A gripping memoir. Hadjitofi exposes the ‘underworld of art traffickers’ with intricate detail as she documents all the legal loopholes and battles that stand in the way of repatriating stolen artifacts. The book is a powerful and important chronicle of art trafficking and its impact on the lives of those torn apart by war, and Hadjitofi is a caring and exacting storyteller.” (Publishers Weekly)
“In a memoir that reads like a high-stakes mystery, Cypriot refugee Tasoula Hadjitofi struggles to find her rightful place in the world and to return the religious treasures of her homeland to theirs. Along the way, her compelling personal tale illustrates the devastating cultural, historic, spiritual and moral consequences of illegal art trafficking.”—Nicholas Gage, author of Eleni and Greek Fire
Tasoula Hadjitofi 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. 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.