Istanbul, July 13, 2020
The icons and mosaics in Agia Sophia will be covered with a combination of curtains and special lighting technology during Islamic prayers, as Muslims are extreme iconoclasts, reports Romfea with reference to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.
According to the paper, special curtains will be installed in the church to cover the icons, and carpets will be placed on the floor that will have special lighting to darken the space and conceal the mosaics.
This also means, according to Romfea, that visitors to Agia Sophia will have to remove their shoes to enter the iconic building.
After signing a decree on Friday reconverting Agia Sophia into a mosque, Turkish President Erdoğan stated that the doors to the building will remain open to all, and now without an entrance fee as when the building was a museum.
According to ethnos.gr, a 14,000 square meter carpet, ordered already in June, is already ready, paid for by the President himself.
Two imams and four muezzins will be appointed, and verses from the Quran will reportedly be read inside Agia Sophia 24 hours a day. The building will be open every day for all 5 Islamic prayers throughout the day.
Tourists will be able to see the famous mosaics at specific times, outside of the Muslim prayer times.