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Damaged by unknown door of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

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(ANSA) – ISTANBUL, APRIL 19 – A part of the ancient imperial gate of Santa Sofia was damaged by unknown persons. This was announced by the Turkish Association of the History of Art by publishing a photograph of the door with two visible signs of breakage on Twitter and comparing it with images from a year ago where the part was instead intact. Turkey’s Directorate-General of Foundations announced that two inspectors have been appointed to conduct an investigation into the damage.

Built in the sixth century as a Christian basilica, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque following the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. In the 30s of the twentieth century, while the founder of the secular republic of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was president, the building it was closed to Islamic worship, restored and transformed into a museum which since 1985 has enjoyed the protection of UNESCO.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2020 wanted to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque by making the entrance to the building free. Part of the Christian mosaics of the Byzantine era are now covered while the upper floors where the best known Christian mosaics are found remain inaccessible to the public.

The decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque sparked controversy, especially outside Turkey. Last year, the Turkish Foreign Ministry defined the “grave concern” expressed by UNESCO for the way in which the conversion into a mosque was carried out as “biased”. (HANDLE).

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Source: Ansa

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