“The issue of Hagia Sophia and Chora Church is on the agenda of all our contacts,” said Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias at his address to the 4th Panhellenic Conference on the Digitization of Cultural Heritage.
Nikos Dendias noted that the preservation and promotion of our cultural heritage were of great importance for the country while reminding us that “the monuments of Greek culture are located in various countries, in the Mediterranean, in the Middle East, but also in the depths of Asia.”
“Unfortunately, this heritage is under constant threat,” he said, “It is threatened by the Taliban who in the past destroyed world heritage monuments.”
Of course, countries like Turkey violated fundamental rules of UNESCO by turning monuments, such as Hagia Sophia and Chora Church, into mosques.”
The Greek foreign minister pointed out that the goal was “to make every effort to protect this heritage” and “in this context we have mobilized in various international organizations, starting with UNESCO. At the same time, we raise this issue both bilaterally and multilaterally.”
At the same time, however, with these actions, Nikos Dendias underlined that “we have an obligation to highlight our cultural heritage and through its promotion to the largest possible audience,” and digital technology is a vehicle for this effort.
UNESCO has issued guidelines for the application of principles and rules in the digital environment.
“It is necessary and at the same time useful for Greece to fully and dynamically enter the era of ‘digital culture’, ” he noted, “Responding to the new reality, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from the first moment, showed readiness to use the opportunities created by new means of digitization” and referred to the organization of numerous online events during the pandemic.
“This effort should continue unabated in every direction”, stressed Nikos Dendias and concluded: “I am sure that the exchanges of views and the promotion of actions will contribute to making Greece a reference point in this area.”