The correspondent of the newspaper Le Figaro, An Adlaouer, expressed her concern about the situation of Hagia Sophia, after the conversion of the monument into a mosque in July 2020.
In an extensive investigation, the correspondent noted that on February 1, the deadline set by Unesco in Turkey to submit a report on the problems at the monument due to the conversion of its use, expired.
A typical example of the problems is the inability of visitors to see some of the mosaics of the temple, such as those of the Arch and the upper floor, the so-called gallery.
In particular, the mosaics of the Arch are hidden behind veils, which the Turkish regime had promised to close only at the time of prayer.
Hagia Sophia: UNESCO deeply regrets the decision of the Turkish authorities, made without prior discussion, and calls for the universal value of #WorldHeritage to be preserved.
— UNESCO 🏛️ #Education #Sciences #Culture 🇺🇳😷 (@UNESCO) July 10, 2020
What do the Turks respond?
Religious circles told the reporter that the curtains could not be opened because the mosaics were on the Mecca side, preventing worshipers from praying, and government officials continued to promise that the barriers would be removed.
It should be noted that visitors are also excluded from the gallery with the best preserved mosaics that remains closed, while its services state that the technical aspects are being examined so that it is not damaged.
The extremely important testimony of an architect, a member of the scientific council created in 1993 by the Turkish Ministry of Culture for the maintenance of the building. He states that there are no “irreversible alterations”, but estimates that mistakes are definitely made due to priority in the operation of the mosque.
The same question, is that, whether the Hagia Sophia mosque is as well protected as when it functioned as a museum, is also articulated by all experts, such as historians, architects and conservators of works of art.
The response also refers to the impact it has had on the Orthodox in Turkey and around the world, for whom Hagia Sophia is a symbol.