Goffredo di Crollalanza/FilmMagic
January 21, 2011 01:00 PM

This time, Boy George is on the right side of the law.

The Culture Club singer returned an icon to a Cyprus church this week, after learning the work had been stolen nearly 40 years ago. Boy George (real name, George O’Dowd) purchased the piece from a London art dealer in 1985.

As it turns out, the work – an elaborate depiction of Jesus Christ – was one of several pieces taken from the Church of St. Charalambos when Turkey invaded the island nation of Cyprus in 1974. The church’s bishop just happened to be watching a recent interview taped in Boy George’s home when he spotted the piece, and realized it belonged to his house of worship.

“I wasn’t really surprised [it was stolen], because I always thought the icon I had was kind of special,” Boy George told BBC News this week. “I’m happy the icon is going back to its original rightful home.”

The singer returned the piece to church officials earlier this week, and said he received a “very sweet gift” in return. “I look forward to seeing the icon on display in Cyprus for the moment,” he said, “and finally to the Church of St. Charalambos from where it was illegally stolen.”

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