Paris, November 2, 2022
“The profane conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque is not only an insult to historical truth, it constitutes a direct threat to the monument,” believes the General Secretary of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy.
“Hagia Sophia must be declared a monument in danger,” Dr. Maximos Charakopoulos, Member of the Hellenic Parliament, said after a meeting with a representative of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Center in Paris, reports News Bulletin 24/7.
During the meeting, Charakopoulos informed the UNESCO rep about the damages the former cathedral has suffered since being reconverted into mosque. Unfortunately, there have been numerous reports of damage and vandalism to the famous Hagia Sophia in Istanbul since its reconversion into a mosque in 2020.
“I sent the representative of UNESCO a detailed situation with publications describing these disasters. The reaction of the international community to date has not been what was expected and this disheartens the perpetrator and diminishes the prestige of international organizations… I informed her, of course, about the international campaign that we have undertaken as an inter-parliamentary institution for the awakening of international public opinion,” the General Secretary said.
In turn, the UNESCO representative Mrs. Berta de Sancristóbal said that UNESCO closely monitors monuments in Istanbul. She assured that Hagia Sophia will be on the agenda at the next meeting.
In August, the Association of Greek Archaeologists published an open letter to the UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay, sounding the alarm about both Hagia Sophia and the Chora Monastery, which was also recently turned into a mosque.