Le Drian on Hagia Sophia: ‘The integrity of this gem must be preserved’


France's Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, has released the following statement:

"France deplores the decision of the Turkish Council of State to modify the status of the Hagia Sophia museum and President Erdogan's decree placing it under the authority of the directorate of religious affairs. These decisions call into question one of the most symbolic acts of modern and secular Turkey. The integrity of this religious, architectural and historic gem, a symbol of freedom of religion, tolerance and diversity, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, must be preserved. Hagia Sophia must continue to represent the plurality and diversity of religious heritage, dialogue and tolerance."