Renowned Dutch art detective finds stolen ‘Precious Blood’ relic said to contain blood of Jesus

Arthur Brand says he recovered 'Précieux Sang' relic stolen in France last month

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A renowned Dutch art detective recovered a relic stolen in France that is said to contain the blood of Jesus.

Arthur Brand, known as the "Indiana Jones of the art world," said earlier this month that he recovered the "Précieux Sang," or "Precious Blood," that a group of thieves stole from the Holy Trinity Abbey Church in Fécamp, France, on the night of June 1.

The jewel-encrusted reliquary holds two lead vials which Catholics believe contain drops of Jesus’ blood.

Brand described how he came to find the ancient relic, telling news outlets that he received an encrypted email from someone who claimed to be a friend of the thieves.

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"They gave me the option, ‘Either we throw it away, or you make sure that it goes back to the abbey,’ " Brand told the Washington Post. "Of course, I said yes. So then they tell me that they were going to bring it to my home sometime the next week."

The sleuth told the BBC that a couple of days after the email, his doorbell rang.

"I looked from my balcony outside and in the dark I saw a box," he said. "I ran down the stairs, afraid that someone would take the box. Outside I looked around, but there was no-one there."

Brand, a Catholic, said he opened the box to peek at the holy item while detectives worked to confirm its authenticity at his house, calling it an "authentic, religious experience."

On Thursday, Brand posted a photo on Twitter showing Dutch police arriving at his home to take possession of the relic.

Dutch art detective Arthur Brand with "Buste de Femme", a recovered Picasso painting, on March 26, 2019. 

Dutch art detective Arthur Brand with "Buste de Femme", a recovered Picasso painting, on March 26, 2019.  (Arthur Brand via AP, File)

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Brand’s previous finds include a Picasso painting stolen from yacht in France in 1999, a pair of bronze horses sculpted for Adolf Hitler, and a stolen ring that once belonged to the famed Irish writer Oscar Wilde.

Dan Brown, author of "The Da Vinci Code," shared news of the latest find on his Facebook page, writing: "Art detective will forever be a cool job title."