A new article on the destruction of Hagia Sophia was published today in the newspaper Birgün, titled “They speak of inheritance and commit murder”.
“The scandals in Hagia Sophia, which has turned from a museum into a mosque, continue unabated. While the claim that pieces were removed from the historic door in 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia remains on the agenda, it is now claimed that visitors are scraping the walls and putting the trimmings in bags,” the report said.
In the related article, the columnist talks with the President of the Association of Art History (STD), Sherif Yasar, who shared a video on his account with a new scandal about Hagia Sophia. In Yasar’s video, graffiti with names, and shapes that have been engraved with a sharp object, inside Hagia Sophia, appear in the support column of the building. In the video, Yasar shows the space and the surface that clearly shows the destruction of the surface and says that there has been no worse “embarrassment” than this spectacle. He criticizes those responsible for not taking any precautionary measures.
Stressing that a murder of cultural heritage was committed in Hagia Sophia, Yashar says: “About a month and a half ago the destruction of a door was on the agenda. We waited for an action to be taken, but no action was taken. We started touring the area and started seeing new disasters. A visitor with a bag collects pieces from the wall. The column supporting Hagia Sophia is filled with hundreds of inscriptions. Visitors wrote their names on the walls, painted hearts…”
In the past, when Hagia Sophia was a museum, there was a Scientific Council. The decision made at the last Board meeting was that Hagia Sophia is a very old construction and that groups should visit it per 20 people at most. Because even the humidity created by the human breath in this space of 1,500 years shortens the life of Hagia Sophia. But now thousands of people are inside at the same time.
When the latest events occurred, Yasar continued, the General Directorate of Institutions claimed that Hagia Sophia was protected by 154 security cameras, with 68 guards and tourist police. If it’s so meticulously protected, how does this disaster happen? Where’s all the security? Previously, when it was a museum, it was protected by fully trained, informed, and conscious personnel… That is the problem. We make so many complaints, we make demands, and scandals are revealed every day, but nothing is done. That is why the scandals continue.”
Bugün başka bir rezaletle karşılaştım akşamüzeri Ayasofya’da. Her gittiğimde yeni bir skandal. Şuraya bak onlarca yazı yazılmış Ayasofya’yı taşıyan mimari öğenin içine, tek bir kişi görüp uyarmamış mı? @TC_istanbul @TCKulturTurizm @iktm34 @MehmetNuriErsoy @SanatTarihiSTD pic.twitter.com/frctgJzciG
— Şerif Yaşar (@ArtHistorianSTD) May 24, 2022