Chora church a ‘three-dimensional work of art’


Turkey’s decision to convert the Byzantine Church of the Holy Savior in Chora in Istanbul, a UNESCO World Heritage site, into a mosque has again drawn wide condemnation, not least from Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who described the conversion of as an act of “symbolic violence.” Robert G. Ousterhout, professor emeritus of art history at the University of Pennsylvania and a specialist on the subject, told Kathimerini that the church determined the course of late Byzantine architecture. To understand its significance, he says, it must be seen as “a three-dimensional work of art,” where architecture coexists with the frescoes. [Shutterstock]