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Museum vandals tell police “Oil on artifacts is healing, works miracles”

The prosecutor in Athens has filed criminal charges against two women suspected of dousing oil at artifacts in Greek museums. They are charged for violation of the Law for Protection of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage. Caught in action on Sunday, they could go to trail today, however, the court postponed the case trial awaiting  the results from the State Laboratory about the exact type of liquid they used.

The two Bulgarian nationals aged 48 and 51 claimed that they were smearing oil on museums exhibits following the dictates of the Bible.

“We wanted God to make miracles,” the two told police.

They claimed that according to the Bible teachings oil and myrrh had healing properties and that dousing relics was dictated by the Bible.

They said that they belonged to a Christian religious sect.

They further claimed that they were not meant to cause damage to the artifacts.

On Sunday, a guard at the National Historical Museum at Old Parliament House in Athens alerted police when he saw the two women in the museum premises and in action.

The 51-year-old touched with her oily hand the wooden frame of an exhibit containing clerical objects.

The guard had recognized one of the two women from the leaflets police had distributed to museums and archaeological sites, as her image was captured by CCTV cameras in other museums they had vandalized, media report.

Police that arrived at the Museum arrested the two women who reportedly had three bottles of oil in their possession.

Investigation by the Greek Police revealed that the two women were also responsible for similar actions in two other museums in Athens in recent months.

The oily stains were found on artifacts at the Christian and Byzantine Museum in July and at the Benaki Museum end of August.

In the Byzantine Museum traces of baby oil were found.

CCTV cameras had captured the two women in both museums.

Experts at both museums were able to clean the exhibits from the oil.

Ever since these two incidents, museums guards were alerted

The two women face misdemeanor charges.

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