Turkish authorities have confirmed that an ancient bible thought to be 1,500 years old is being kept safe after being seized from a gang of smugglers.
The document is in Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, written in gold Syriac characters on leather pages loosely bound together with string.
It was part of a haul recovered 12 years ago by police targeting traffickers in ancient artefacts in southern Turkey.
After the case went before a judge it is thought the bible languished in a safe at the courthouse in Ankara and was only recently transferred to a museum in the city.
The pages are reported to have retained many original traces of the period though Turkey’s Minister of Culture said it will now undergo restoration work. It is believed the bible might be worth up to 20 million euros.