The chronicle of the dismemberment and pillaging of Las Incantadas was recorded by the French paleographer Emmanuel Miller in his work Le Mont Athos, Vatopédi, l’ile de Thasos, published in Paris in 1889. On 30 October 1864, Miller anchored in Thessaloniki, where he arrived upon returning from Thasos. Twenty days earlier, he had secured a permit from the sultan to remove and transport the sculptures to Paris.
But upon arriving in the city, he was informed by the French consul that he now had an order from the French authorities to remove the entire monument. Since Miller did not have the technical means necessary for such a project, he turned to the Turkish pasha of Thessaloniki, who promised to secure whatever was necessary to transport the building’s marble sculptures.
On 2 November 1864, the violent removal of the antiquities began. Miller planned to transport the whole monument and sawed off its entire upper part. European consuls in the city telegraphed to Constantinople to prevent the seizure of the “Enchanted Ones”. The city’s residents flocked to see the spectacle, and reacted to the terrible undertaking being carried out before their eyes. But by 12 November the dismantling of the statues had been completed. Despite problems during transport, the sculptures and architectural members arrived at the harbor in wagons drawn by four pairs of oxen and with the assistance of the crew and equipment of a French warship.
Completing the dismemberment of the monument lasted several days. Miller decided to extend his stay in Thessaloniki because he wanted to excavate in the area of the Incantadas, but he was prevented by prolonged rains in November. In early December, Miller transferred another column capital and the monument’s last marble pieces to Paris.