Vita Gazette

News from Italy

Hagia Sophia and Khora warning from UNESCO!

Vita gazette – The UNESCO World Heritage Committee requested a report from Turkey on the changes made in the Hagia Sophia and Chora museums, which were converted into mosques. The greatest architectural value that the Roman Emperor Justianian brought to the Eastern Roman Empire, the Hagia Sophia-Hagia Sophia, also known as the Basilica of the Holy Wisdom, was converted into a mosque by the decision of President Tayyip Erdoğan. This was followed by the conversion of the Chora Monastery Church, known as the Chora Museum, one of the most impressive Byzantine monuments in Istanbul, into a mosque. Unesco has given Turkey until February 1, 2022, to report the changes made to both world heritage sites.

The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which reviewed the World Heritage list at its annual meeting held in China, requested a report from Turkey on the changes made in Hagia Sophia and Chora. The Committee stated that they were concerned about the effects of the conversion of Hagia Sophia and Chora into mosques and called on Turkey to engage in international dialogue and cooperation before making significant changes to these assets.

Last year, Turkey turned Hagia Sophia, which has been on the World Cultural Heritage list since 1985, and then Kariye, into a mosque last year. Both cultural assets had museum status before the decision to turn them into mosques. The World Heritage Committee has given Turkey until February 1, 2022, to submit an updated report on the changes made to Hagia Sophia and Chora. There is a risk that Hagia Sophia and Kariye will be removed from the heritage list of unprotected assets.

In order for a natural or cultural property to be included in the World Heritage list, it must meet the criterion of Outstanding Universal Value. Natural and cultural assets on the World Heritage list provide prestige and tourism income to the host countries. The Committee has the authority to include or even remove from the World Heritage List completely the properties that it considers not to be protected.

Unesco made the same warning about the large ships entering Venice, and the Italian government held an extraordinary meeting last month and decided to ban large ships from entering the dream city with the Decree-Law. Venice thus escaped the danger of being delisted at the last moment. Finally, the British city of Liverpool was removed from the list on the grounds that newly built modern buildings damaged the originality and integrity of the city.

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