Images from the destruction of the historic Imperial Gate of Hagia Sophia, which counts 1400 years of history, provoke great reactions.
The Association of Art History, in a post on Twitter, complained: “We discovered that the historic Imperial Gate of Hagia Sophia is in such a state and we photographed it around 20:45 this evening (April 18, 2022), citing the relevant photo.
The Union also criticized the response of the Hagia Sophia security chief, who declared ignorance of the incident, threatening to bring the matter to the attention of the prosecutor.
“Unfortunately, I heard the creepy statement from the man who said his name was Talib and is in charge of security in Hagia Sophia that he had no information about it, that there is no video from the CCTV camera, and that “there is nothing to worry about, we will fix it”. When we said we’d report it to the D.A. to find the culprit, he said we were malicious. And that all we want to do is make a scene.
We never accept or will accept that such a man is responsible for the mosque of Hagia Sophia, one of the most important architectural works in the world. We will file a lawsuit both to identify those who destroyed the historic gate and to have this person removed from this position as soon as possible.”
The deputy general secretary of the municipality of Constantinople, Mahir Polat, took a stand on the incident, stating: “The person or persons who caused this disaster should be identified through a camera. The matter should be taken to the prosecutor, as they intentionally caused damage to the number one historic building, the Hagia Sophia.”
The post triggered outrage among Turkish art lovers, yet, one user claimed that “the door was destroyed by the crowd.”
The Imperial Gate, the largest gate of Hagia Sophia, is 7 meters high and is made of iron. It is the main entrance gate to Hagia Sophia and was used only by the Emperor. The door is said to have been made of the wood of Noah’s Ark, which was made of oak wood.
Ayasofya Camii İmparatorluk Kapısının 2017 yılındaki hali ve dün çekilmiş fotoğrafı; pic.twitter.com/SLkDFiXimB
— Sanat Tarihi Derneği (STD) (@SanatTarihiSTD) April 19, 2022