Courtesy of the Republic of Cyprus

The disciple Jude soulfully regards those who ponder this mutilated, sixth-century A.D. mosaic, which was hacked from the half-domed apse of the church of Kanakaria, in northern Cyprus, and smuggled into Germany. In 1997 Cypriot authorities purchased this mosaic, reportedly worth $8.6 million on the market, from Aydin Dikman. The original composition depicted an enthroned Virgin and Child encompassed by a large mandorla, or almond-shaped circle of light, with angels on either side and a ring of 13 medallions showing the cross and busts of the 12 apostles. These mosaics are some of the earliest examples of Byzantine art; their remote location shielded them from destruction during the iconoclasm of the eighth and ninth centuries. So far, six of the medallions, the Virgin and Child and an archangel have been recovered. But the recovered items are now cut into pieces and flattened; they no longer have the curved shape of the half-dome of the Kanakaria apse.