UNESCO has not received guarantees from Turkey about the preservation of Hagia Sophia after changing its status from a Museum to a mosque, the press service of the organization reported.
“We have not received the full information we need. The issue of access to the temple is just one of many, which includes preserving the integrity of structures, interior elements, management methods, and others,” UNESCO said.
The organization intends to make every effort to collect as much data as possible on the preservation of the cultural object.
The change in the status of the Cathedral will be considered at the session of the world heritage committee, which includes representatives of 21 countries, including Russia.
“UNESCO has already expressed its deep regret over the decision of the Turkish authorities to change the status of Hagia Sophia without prior discussion. We reiterate our concern about the possible impact of this decision on the universal value of the object and repeat the call to start a dialogue immediately,” the organization stressed.
On Friday, funeral events were held in Greece in connection with the first Muslim prayer in many years in the walls of the Hagia Sophia. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that the mosque would be restored.
Recall that on July 10, the Turkish state Council annulled the decision of 1934 to turn the Hagia Sophia into a Museum, and Erdogan signed a decree on turning the temple into a mosque.