Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Armenian Church

Sues Getty

Over 'Magical' Bible

6/2/2010 1:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The Western branch of "the oldest organized Christian Church in the world" is suing the J. Paul Getty Museum in L.A., demanding the return of 7 pages from a "magical" 750-year-old bible that was allegedly stolen during the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1918.


doc_launch_small_200In documents filed yesterday in L.A. County Superior Court, the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America claims The Getty "acted in complete disregard" for the Church's rights in 1994 when it bought "stolen" pages of the Zeyt'un Gospels Bible.  

The Church claims the Zeyt'un Bible was created for Constantine I by "the master illuminator T'oros Roslin" in 1256, and is one of Armenia's most valued national treasures.  The Church believes the book "wielded supernatural powers."

When the Turks invaded Armenia in 1915, the suit claims, descendants of a royal Armenian family fled with the Bible, with whom it was thought to be safe.  Yet, when the Bible was returned to Armenia following WWII, 7 key pages were missing ... pages that turned up at The Getty.

The Church claims it learned the Getty Museum had the pages in 2007, but the Getty has refused to return it.  Now, the Church is asking the court to order the pages returned, and for damages of $35 million.


No Avatar


What the . . . ? Did I stumble onto the New York Times site, or is TMZ actually reporting an actual news story that matters?

1611 days ago


7 & 9: Christianity is a relatively new religion. Many religions predate it by thousands of years. Hinduism is considered by most scholars to be the oldest organized religion that is still practiced today.

1611 days ago


@Comment 12

Either your an idiot or are playing one, or maybe just a typical Turk, Mass deportation ,death marches, killing women and children don't account to a war. Get your facts straight or GTFO!

1611 days ago


Thanks #17. But if you look back at the original comment, the response was a clarification regarding the article and the poster's initial mention of the oldest CHRISTIAN state religion. No one who is literate would doubt the youth of Christianity, nor the legacy of longer-established religions. I'm not worried about who-came-first, rather, I'm worried about how many sad people try to rewrite history on TMZ. Good luck everyone.

1611 days ago


right on Harry!

1611 days ago

It was GENOCIDE!    

Ignorance is bliss....the article clearly states that its the oldest organized CHRISTIAN CHURCH! And by the was GENOCIDE! Read a book, check out archives, get informed...The Ottoman Empire (The Young Turks) massacred men, women, and children. They exiled people from the only homes they had known pushed them into the desert to DIE! They would rape young girls and women...they would cut the bellies of pregnant Armenian women and tear out their unborn children! For God's sake stop comparing this to a was Genocide. Does anyone question the Jews about the Holocaust? Do they tell them that it was due to the war? NO! Why do you ignorant s*** insist on it being part of the war? It was genocide and we will push this until it's accepted all over the world.

1611 days ago


why the hell is TMZ reporting on this?

1611 days ago


Actually, LA has the largest Armenian population in the world, outside of Armenia; they are mostly centralized around the Glendale area (east LA) and some areas of Bel Air/Westwood. For this piece of Armenian history to be in the Getty is reflective of the cultural importance of Armenians in the region.

Also, someone mentioned that this Bible belonged to members of the royal family. This will be the deciding factor in the court case: did the family have the right to remove the Bible, and, if so, did they have the right to sell the piece off that eventually ended up in the Getty. Just because it is a Bible does not mean that the pages automatically belong to the church.

1611 days ago


Armenians complaining as usual! The first thing I think of when I hear Armenian I think of angry complainers.

They should direct all their anger on their 3rd world country and the rich armenians in la like the Kardashians should give to armenian charities in Armenia instead of whoring themselves out all over LA.

1611 days ago


Professor Obvious, you are officially an ignorant *******. I suppose the Holocaust was a lost war also. Get your **** straight.

1611 days ago


Just wanted to thank TMZ for reporting this! TMZ is where I get my daily fix on Hollywood Gossip, and I am very loyal to the site! When I saw this (during an LSAT study break) I was so pleased to see something most mainstream news casts would not have covered and no gossip site would touch!
TMZ is correct is stating that Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as their official religion thus being deemed the oldest organized Christian Church.
Further, because of the Armenian Genocide, Armenians have spread across the world and although there are few of us, we try very hard to preserve our culture, language and history alive. We are very proud to be the first organized Christian Church and these pages are a small symbol of that. This situation often occurs between Native Americans and Museums with artifacts that were taken when settlers first arrived in America.
Thanks again TMZ!!

1611 days ago



No such thing as Armenian Genocide. The only people who put them in books were Armenians themselves.

How pissed are Armenians that they gave millions of dollars to the OBAMA campaign hoping he would recognize this false day, but as soon as Obama got in, he didn't do it. Because HE KNOWS THE TRUTH!
LOL at the Armenians!

1611 days ago


1611 days ago


This has NOTHING to do with religion or with the Kardashians you ignorant morons. It has to do with ownership. It is stolen artwork that belongs to Armenia. Period.

1611 days ago


Professor Obvious you are a staright out idiot....The Turks are the biggest CRIMINALS in the world....would love to see your children, wife and parents slaughtered at their hands and then call it fair & square...and I am a Turk who knows my history

1611 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web