The Prime Minister expressed his “sadness and disgust” at the damage to a door of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul in a call with UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, his office announced on Thursday.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the damage to the Imperial Gate demonstrated disrespect for the monument’s history, integrity and universal character.
Hagia Sophia is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 15th-century door was used by Byzantine emperors to enter the most prominent Orthodox place of worship.
According to the prime minister’s office, Azoulay reiterated her organization’s concerns over the repercussions of the Turkish government’s decision in 2020 to turn Hagia Sophia, then a museum, into a mosque and said she will request an explanation from the authorities.
Earlier this week, the Turkish Art History Union posted a photograph showing the damage to the 15th-century door. [AMNA]