The decision of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to convert the Chora Church into a mosque is an act of intolerance and symbolic violence, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, stressed.
In a post on Facebook, that she posted on Friday, Katerina Sakellaropoulou spoke of an act that blatantly violated the UNESCO conventions but also offendεd the religious symbolism of the monument, which was doomed to obscurity.
The mosaics and the frescoes are wonderful pieces of Byzantine art, which are also unique in beauty and naturalness, the President of the Hellenic Republic pointed out. “The conversion of the Chora Church into a mosque will make one of the most brilliant parts of a great civilisation inaccessible,” she added.
“When the mosaics and the frescoes of the Chora Church were discovered in 1948, right before becoming a museum, a world of indescribable beauty and life came to light. There is the most vivid and joyful depiction of the revealing of both the divine and human nature of Jesus, the most creative combination of popular and the highest style of art, such as the life of the Virgin Mary and the childhood of Christ, the genealogy and His miracles. These are ‘the most beautiful and moving mosaics,’ according to George Seferis.”
“There are scenes of the Orthodox calendar that depict saints and common mortals with soulful looks, painted with the warmest shades, and that visitors can see on the upper part of the church and on its domes. There are wonderful pieces of Byzantine art, which are unique in beauty and naturalness. The conversion of the Chora Church into a mosque will make one of the most brilliant parts of a great civilisation inaccessible, will make the historic and cultural nature of the monument wither away and will ‘remove’ valuable parts from the universal heritage of world art,” the Greek President said.