The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque is a severe attack on the world cultural heritage while highlighting that Greece will continue to work so that the international community remains aware of this issue that concerns everybody.
“The change of status of important cultural monuments is a clear attack on the world cultural heritage,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “this alteration is a violation of Turkey’s obligations under the 1972 UNESCO Convention and casts a shadow on her reputation.”
“The use of monuments with appropriate splendor and symbolism must remain above and beyond any expediency and serve the interests of unity and reconciliation for the international community,” the announcement reads.
“Changing the use of the monument, in addition to its symbolism, entails significant risks for the integrity of the building, as well as the mosaics and other works of art inside.”
“We will work to keep the international community aware, as the conversion of Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, into a mosque is a matter that concerns everybody,” as reported in the announcement.
“At a time when convergence and unifying steps are needed, acts that incite religious and cultural divisions and widen rifts rather than bridge them do not contribute to the understanding and rapprochement of peoples,” the announcement concludes.
The monuments are not humiliated, but they humiliate those who do not respect them, notes the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kostas Vlasis, in a post on Twitter commenting on the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
“History is not erased with the signature of a politician, even if that person is the president of Turkey,” Kostas Vlasis said. “Monuments are not humiliated, but humiliate those who do not respect them! The bells in our churches ring mournfully, but our Faith becomes even stronger!”.
Η ιστορία δεν διαγράφεται με την υπογραφή ενός πολιτικού, ακόμα κι αν αυτός είναι ο Πρόεδρος της Τουρκίας.
Τα μνημεία δεν ταπεινώνονται, αλλά ταπεινώνουν εκείνους που δεν τα σέβονται!
Οι καμπάνες στις εκκλησιές μας ηχούν πένθιμα, αλλά η Πίστη μας γίνεται ακόμα πιο δυνατή! pic.twitter.com/sRPlS82qVj
— Kostas Vlasis (@KostasVlasis) July 24, 2020