An 1937 chapel bell stolen from the southern Hungarian town of Jásztelek was recently found in the United States and will shortly be returned to its intended place with the help of the FBI, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó wrote in a Facebook post.
The story begins in Jásztelek, where the parish’s old bell, cast in 1937, was stolen from the tower of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snow in September 2001.
The investigation at the time was inconclusive. More than 20 years passed before a member of the local Hungarian community in Louisiana, U.S., noticed a bell with familiar inscriptions in an antique shop.
Hungarian diplomatic channels were alerted, and, in cooperation with the FBI, a team of investigators was set up to first identify and then seize the bell of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snow, which was thought to be lost.
“After 21 years and thousands of kilometers, the bell has now returned to Hungary as part of Hungarian-American cooperation, and it is only a matter of days before it will be back in Jásztelek, where it has always belonged,” Szijjártó wrote.