The Deputy Director General for Cultural Heritage and Museums of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, Yahya Coşkun, refuted the reports about extensive damage to the murals in the renovated Sumela Monastery in Trabzon.
Responding to Anadolu about the photos published after the opening of the historic monastery in Pontus region after five years of restoration work, Yahya Coşkun, said that the said damage had occurred in the past decades.
As he explained, work in Sumela Monastery is divided into two phases: first the ensuring of the consolidation of the monastery by extensive interventions in the dangerous rocks in an area of 17 thousand square meters. He also stressed that restoration works were carried out inside the monastery, but none related to the murals.
“I will be clear: there has been no recent damage, most of it took place in the 1960s to the 1970s. If you look carefully, you will read messages in every language, with dates engraved,” said Yahya Coşkun.
The comparison of the photos, as he characteristically said, shows that in the 1980s and 1990s there are the exact same alterations in the same places.
Regarding the study that began to be prepared for the maintenance of the murals, which are part of the second phase of work, as reported by pontos-news.gr, he stressed that it would be multidisciplinary and documented.
He even assured that the conservators would work with the same mortars, colors, and patterns, and that the project would be completed as soon as possible.