August 21, 2020

"Sultan" Erdogan converts another museum to a mosque

Following the re-conversion of Istanbul's world-famous Hagia Sophia museum to a mosque earlier this year, Turkish President "I want to be the Sultan" Erdogan does the same to the Chora (Kariye) Church Museum, also in Istanbul.

At least I was able to see the fabulous art before they cover it again.

The Church of the Holy Savior in Chora is considered one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine church. In the 16th century, the church was converted into a mosque by the Ottoman rulers, and it became a secularized museum in 1948. The interior of the building is covered with fine mosaics and frescoes. It is listed as one of the top 30 “must-see museums” in the world.

The original church was built in the early 5th century to the south of the Golden Horn, and stood outside of the 4th century walls of Constantine the Great; it became incorporated within the city's defenses later that century.

The frescoes and mosaics, plastered over by the Ottomans, are being restored. They are stunning, almost overwhelming. I have seen mosaics in other early Christian Churches throughout the Middle East, but nothing like these.

See my photographs of the art that is about to be lost to the world.