A Dutch detective has been able to recover the stolen ornate golden artefact that is said to contain drops of Jesus' precious blood.

52-year-old detective Arthur Brand has been able to make remarkable recoveries in the past as well, including the "Hitler's Horses" bronze statues, a Picasso painting and Oscar Wilde's ring.

The relic was stolen last month from the sacristy at Fécamp, northeast of the port of Le Havre. Fécamp Abbey in Normandy, France, has been a holy site for more than 1,000 years. Devotees come from all across the world to worship the "Precious Blood of Christ" relics.

The theft had come as a shock to everyone. According to legend, the relic containing two lead vials was thrown into the sea in a trunk and washed up at Fécamp.

The entire process of getting the artefact was no less than a movie script. According to a BBC report, Brand was approached by someone over email who claimed that the relics were being kept at the house of a friend of the thief.

When the said friend realised what it really was, he gave it to the person who emailed the art detective eventually. Brand then suggested leaving the relic at the doorstep of his house in the Netherlands, and asked them to ring the doorbell after putting it there.

"A couple of days later, at 10:30 in the evening, the doorbell rang. I looked from my balcony outside and in the dark I saw a box. I ran down the stairs, afraid that someone would take the box. Outside I looked around, but there was no-one there," Brand said.

"(My) heart was beating in (my) chest. As a Catholic myself, this is about as close to Jesus and the legend of the Holy Grail you can get. It was a religious experience," he added. He now plans to hand over the relics to the Dutch police, who would then be able to return it to the abbey at Fécamp.

Jesus depictions
Various depictions of Jesus over the ages. Wikimedia