The Turkish Minister of Culture has strong suggested he will call for the "return" of the relics of St. Nicholas to Myra (modern day Demre
) in Turkey. The relics are currently kept in Bari (Italy) where they have been since the 11th
century AD. The minister suggested the body of "Father Christmas" should be displayed in a Turkish museum that is being proposed for construction.
As I noted in a comment at Rorate Caeli
; there is no national government in existence which has any legal or moral claim to the relics of St. Nicholas. Once the Emperor reclaims his throne in Constantinople and the cross is again raised over Hagia
Sophia this topic can be revisited. Given the precarious position of the Ecumenical Patriarch in a country with a well established track record of persecuting religious minorities (especially the Greek Orthodox Church) I believe it better that the relics remain where they are as long as they are accessible to all for veneration.
Hat tip to Carlos Antonio Palad of Rorate Caeli.