RF Ambassador: Turkey to open frescoes of Hagia Sophia for tourists

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Photo: mediaalliance.info

The Russian Embassy in Turkey reports that local authorities have promised to open access to Christian shrines in the Hagia Sophia after the renovation is complete.

Russian Ambassador to Ankara Aleksey Yerkhov said that the unique Byzantine frescoes of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, turned into a mosque, will soon be opened for tourists.

“We are assured that scheduled renovation works are currently underway in the Hagia Sophia, after which tourists will again be able to visit the galleries and see the unique Byzantine mosaics located there,” reports RIA Novosti. "We sincerely hope that all these promises will be kept."

According to A. Yerkhov, the embassy is receiving many questions from Russians about whether the canvases covering the walls of the temple will be raised so that images of the apse and the narthex can be seen. Many people want to get access to the galleries on the second floor.

Therefore, the Russian Embassy bring these issues before the Turkish authorities, and those, according to A. Yerkhov, demonstrate their readiness to consider all the requirements of UNESCO regarding the access of tourists to the church.

As reported, Erdogan called the change in the status of Hagia Sophia a step towards great Turkey.

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