Greece blasts Turkey over ‘desecration’ of Panagia Soumela monastery


Greece’s Foreign Ministry and President, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, have said that images showing a band dancing to electronic music at the Panagia Soumela monastery in Turkey were “a desecration” of the monument.

The ministry called on Turkish authorities “to do their utmost to prevent such acts from being repeated” and to respect the site, a candidate for UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites.

Sakellaropoulou also expressed her shock at the incident on Tuesday during the opening night of an exhibition at the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens.

Sakellaropoulou at the opening night of an exhibition at the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens. Photo: InTime News.

One of the icons on display at the exhibition was that of Panagia Soumela and Sakellaropoulou said she needed to single it out due to the “the recent desecration of this World Heritage Site.”

The Panagia Soumela icon is one “that Hellenism, especially Pontic Hellenism, considers an integral part of its identity, as it depicts the Mother of God, their guide and protector in the painful experience of uprooting and refugeedom,” the President added.

These statements come after the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also sent a complaint to Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, where he described the performance as “an insult to the monument.”

Turkish officials were not immediately available for comment.

Founded in the 4th century, Soumela is a monastic complex built into a sheer cliff above the Black Sea forest in eastern Turkey. It was long ago stripped of its official Orthodox Christian status and now operates as a museum administered by the Culture Ministry in Turkey.

Source: Ekathimerini.




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Fresco of Helen of Troy uncovered at Pompeii

Nearly 2,000 years since it was buried by volcanic rubble, the lost city of Pompeii is yielding even more impressive discoveries. According to, archeologists...

New casual Greek restaurant brings meze and cocktails to Adelaide’s CBD

Andrew Papadakis, the visionary who founded and successfully sold Meze Mazi, returns to the vibrant Adelaide restaurant scene with his newest venture, Dino’s. According to...

Two Greek women included in ’30 Under 30′ Forbes list

In this year's European Forbes "30 Under 30" list, two exceptional Greek women have managed to stand out for their successful paths in two...

2,300-year-old tomb unearthed in Greece

A tomb in the ancient Macedonian city of Aegae in modern Vergina, Greece, has been unearthed according to an All That’s Interesting report. The tomb is believed...

Yorgos Lanthimos’ new movie ‘Kinds of Kindness’ included in Cannes lineup

New films from Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrea Arnold and Francis Ford Coppola, as well as a portrait of 1980s Donald Trump, will compete for the...

You May Also Like

Iron Boy: How five words changed Arthur Bozikas’ life

Over 8,600 needle sticks, 700 blood transfusions, and 2,200 blood packs later and Arthur Bozikas OAM is defying the odds of the life sentence...

Opinion: A Tale of Two Festivals

By: Zografos Zappas Both Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s biggest Hellenic cities, launched their Greek Festivals last weekend to the fanfare of food, music and entertainment....

On This Day: Dimitris Mytaras, Greek painter, was born

When Dimitris Mytaras passed away, Greece lost one of its best artists of the 20th century. At least, that’s what Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos...