PARIS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th July, 2021) The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has called on Turkey to present a report on the protection of the Hagia Sophia mosque by February 1, 2022, media reported.
The committee has once again voiced its concern over the transformation of the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque, the Agence-France Presse reported.
Last year, Turkey annulled the 1934 decree converting Hagia Sophia into a museum, thus transforming it back into a mosque. The decision has produced negative reactions across the globe, including among the Greeks who attach special historical significance to the monument.
Hagia Sophia was founded by Byzantine Emperor Justinian as a cathedral and was opened in December 537. The cathedral, considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture, was one of the world's largest buildings for over a thousand years. After the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans and the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the cathedral was converted into a mosque, but since 1934, the building, by a decree of the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, became a museum and was later included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.