Wood - Before 1986
This Christian religious icon is from the Greek island of Crete. It consists of a hinged wooden panel showing images of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus. It was made by monks at the Arkadi Monastery.
The monastery at Arkadi is famous in Greece for its part in the Cretan War of Independence against Ottoman rule in 1866. A rebellion at Arkadi caused a thousand monks and residents to seek sanctuary in the monastery. Ottoman soldiers ordered them to surrender, but instead they chose to blow up their place of refuge with gun-powder as a sign of resistance. The monastery is now seen as a symbol of independence and the anniversary of the event is a national holiday.
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