Istanbul, August 2, 2023
Turkey will soon begin new renovation work at the famous Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
The historic cathedral has received a reported 21 million visitors since it was re-converted into a mosque three years ago, putting considerable strain on the building. In addition to numerous complaints about damage to the building, seismologists have been warning for years that a major earthquake could occur in Istanbul.
Thus, Turkey will begin work to strengthen the stability of the building, Minister of Tourism and Culture Mehmet Nuri Ersoy recently announced, reports CNN Greece.
The Turkish government has established a committee to study the specific needs of the building, after which restoration work will begin.
“If you ask what will happen, first of all, the mortar on the exterior will be cleaned according to the approved restoration works by the board of directors. Then, specifically in the domes, you know, the domes with lead cables. The old lead surfaces will be removed,” Minister Ersoy said.
“The cracks in the dome under the lead will be repaired, especially the cracks that widen the leaks caused by liquids such as rain and snow, and then the lead covering will be repaired and put in place.”
Work will also be carried out on the minarets.
According to the Minister, Hagia Sophia will remain open throughout the renovations.