Greece’s EC Deputy Demands…Restoration of St. Sophia in Istanbul

I was in Constantinople at Agia Sophia about seven years or so ago. I hope they can fix it.
http://www.sedmitza.ru/ [left hand news column]

Strasbourg. Appearing before the European Parliament, Greece’s Deputy Kostas Hatzidakis, demanded that the European Commission to appropriate funds for the restoration of St. Sophia in Constantinople (Istanbul), reports the Macedonian Agency. Hatzidakis also asked it to indicate how the European Commission will be able to help Turkish authorities to restore the damaged monument and thus save it from probable destruction.

The Deputy emphasized that the cathedral is in a very poor state, and proposed allocating EC funds to help Turkey, which in turn would be bound to spend these funds as designated — to maintain the monument. Kostas Hatzidakis reminded the European Commission that Agia Sophia is part of the world’s heritage and also a symbol of Orthodoxy. St. Sophia cathedral’s main cupola is on the brink of destruction because of improper upkeep, and the mosaics and frescoes suffer from dampness.

Constantinople’s church of Saint Sophia — is the most significant monument of byzantine architecture. Begun in 325 under Constantine the Great, it was built in 532-537 by Anfimius from Trall and Isidore from Milet (sp??), and is a three-Nefbasilica (??) with a cupola (31.5 m diameter) elevated on sails. A complex system of semi-
cupolas gives the temple’s immense interior an ordered unity. The cathedral is decorated with mosaics from the VI-XII centuries, according to “Blagovest-info.”

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4 thoughts on “Greece’s EC Deputy Demands…Restoration of St. Sophia in Istanbul”

  1. Whoops! We need to read more carefully. It was begun by Constantine (naturally the first Christian emperor would have built an important church in the second city of the empire). But the current building was built by Justinian.

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