Turkish Police Confiscate 1,000-Year-Old Bible With Jesus Images From Smugglers

((Photo: Reuters/Fatih Saribas))The hand of the statue of Pope Benedict XV is seen under the cross of the St. Esprit Cathedral in Istanbul November 27, 2006.

Turkish police confirmed this week that they had discovered a 1,000-year-old Bible complete with images of Jesus during a smuggler arrest.

The Bible, which includes 51-pages of Assyriac text complete with gold leaf images of Jesus and other biblical figures, was discovered by Turkish police in the city of Tokat, where smugglers were reportedly attempting to illegally sell the Bible.

Accoding to the Daily Mail, smugglers were reportedly arrested after they tried to sell the Bible to undercover police.

According to the Hurriyet Daily News, authorities have reportedly recovered 294 historical artifacts attempting to be sold by smugglers in the city in recent months.

The recently-recovered gilded Bible is reportedly being kept at local museum for safe-keeping.

Along with the Bible, 53 coins, two parts of valuable rings and two arrowheads were also recovered from the smugglers attempting to make a profit off of the valuable artifacts.

Officials in the Middle East have reportedly been on high alert for the smuggling of ancient artifacts, especially after the Islamic State terror group raided several historic sites and is suspected of selling the ancient artifacts for profit.

"They steal everything that they can sell, and what they can't sell, they destroy," Qais Hussein Rasheed, Iraq's deputy minister for antiquities and heritage, said earlier this year of the Islamic State's looting practices.

"We have noticed that the smuggling of antiquities has greatly increased since last June," he added.

It was in June 2014 that the Islamic State took control of the Iraqi city of Mosul and other major cities in the Middle Eastern country.

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