HomeNewsGreeceGreek Foreign Ministry condemns damage to Hagia Sophia's historic Imperial Gate

Greek Foreign Ministry condemns damage to Hagia Sophia’s historic Imperial Gate




The Greek Foreign Ministry has expressed its “disgust and sadness” on Tuesday following reports of the “vandalism” of the Imperial Gate of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

“We call on the competent authorities to do their due diligence in order for those responsible to be brought to justice and the damage to the Monument to be immediately repaired,” the Ministry’s statement read.

READ MORE: UNESCO asks Turkey for Hagia Sophia report as Erdogan marks anniversary of mosque change.

This comes after the Turkish Union of Art History (STD) shared a picture on Twitter on Tuesday showing the oak wood of the 15-century-old gate badly damaged.

The Imperial Gate, the central door of Hagia Sophia, is about 7 meters high and the Byzantines claimed it was constructed of wood from Noah’s Ark.

According to the tweet, the head of security on duty at the UNESCO World Heritage Site said: “Don’t worry, this can be fixed.”

READ MORE: Hagia Sophia: From World Heritage monument to the mosque of sultans.

The damage was discovered after the first tarawih prayer in 88 years, a special evening prayer during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, was held in Hagia Sophia.

In response, the deputy general secretary of the municipality of Istanbul, Mahir Polat, condemned those responsible for the damage, sigmalive.com reports.

“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,” Mr Polat said.

READ MORE: Australia’s Greek organisations denounce conversion of Hagia Sophia into mosque.

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