In a stern announcement, entitled “Full speed return to the Middle Ages,” the Association of Greek Archaeologists condemns the recent decision of the Turkish leadership to convert the Chora Church in Constantinople into a mosque. The Association said that the historic church became “a victim on the altar of the political aspirations of the Turkish government,” while voicing concern over the fate of the monument.
In detail, the announcement of the Association of Greek Archaeologists states:
“After the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Chora Church, is being converted into a mosque, a victim on the altar of the Turkish government’s political aspirations. The Chora Church, an emblematic Byzantine monument that has a long history, was decorated with incomparable mosaics and frescoes during the Palaeologian Renaissance, which is a shining example of the last creative breath of a collapsing empire. It has been operating as a museum since 1958.
The Association of Greek Archaeologists expresses concern over the fate of the monument, the restoration of which has not yet been completed. The Association joins its voice with international organizations and aware citizens in strong protest. It denounces the violence, intolerance and affront to the cultural goods that are condemned to obscurity in order to brutally damage the symbolism of the monument and its role in the continuous dialogue between East and West.”