Hagia Sophia to become mosque after 85 years as musuem

Hagia-Sophia-by-Falco-1920

After 85 years as a museum, Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia will be converted into a mosque. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued the decree to transfer the management of the building from the Ministry of Culture to the Presidency of Religious Affairs last week, sparking criticism in Turkey and worldwide.

Built in 537 CE by the Byzantine emperor Justinian as a Greek Orthodox cathedral, the 1,500-year-old World Heritage Site holds religious and historic significance to both Christians and Muslims in Turkey. It was converted into an Ottoman mosque in 1453 and into a secular museum in 1935 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Today, the Hagia Sophia is one of Turkey’s largest tourist attractions, drawing millions of visitors each year.

The Turkish government announced that although Muslim religious services will resume at the site, visitors of all nationalities and faiths are welcome to visit. But what worries art historians and conservationists the most is that Turkish authorities may cover up or remove the centuries-old Byzantine mosaics and Christian iconography that cover the monumental structure.

Since Islam forbids images of people to be displayed in mosques, officials plan to use lights and curtains to cover up the mosaics, Turkey’s head of religious affairs Ali Erbaş said on Turkish TV. After prayer, the paintings will be uncovered for visitors to view.

UNESCO said in a statement on its website that it “regrets the decision of the Turkish authorities, made without prior discussion, and calls for the universal value of World Heritage to be preserved”. “The Hagia Sophia is an architectural masterpiece and a unique testimony to interactions between Europe and Asia over the centuries”, said Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “Its status as a museum reflects the universal nature of its heritage, and makes it a powerful symbol for dialogue”.

Ernesto Ottone, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, added, “It is important to avoid any implementing measure, without prior discussion with UNESCO, that would affect physical access to the site, the structure of the buildings, the site’s moveable property, or the site’s management”.

 

 

 

 

Auteur: amr63

Yakymour, home of Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan, thè place in the mid 50's 'till the late 80's, where fashion, art, beauty and love meet each other, from all over the world.... Playing as a child in the garden of Yakymour was a happy, innocent time, thanx to ‘Grandma’ Yaky and to Sadruddin, where I could be fully myself and forget ‘the bad things’, and get some strenght. The Last 30 years working as cosmetologist and as a make-up artist for television, theatre, film, fotoshoots, fashion shows, celebrities and individuals gave me a trunk full of experience. My work brought me all over the world and had photoshoot's on location in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, India a.o. At this Blog you will find many reviews of cosmetics, fashion, art, and everything beautiful, as an ode to Begum Om Habibeh 'Yaky' Aga Khan, and named after the place where 'everything' was beautiful: Yakymour. You will find here all the in and outs about skincare, perfums, and make-up, the do's and don'ts, the why's and how's.... The stories behind, and some great interviews... So when you have any question.... please ask. Come on in.... feel yourself at home at Yakymour! Jean Amr P.S. My apologies for future grammatical errors. English is not my mother language :)

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