Administrative board to be set up for preservation, development of Hagia Sophia
ANKARA - Demirören News Agency
An administrative board will be established in order to coordinate activities to be carried out at the Hagia Sophia, according to a cooperation protocol signed between the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) on July 16.
Following the decision to open the Hagia Sophia for Muslim worship, a task division was made between the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Diyanet.
The board, which will include representatives from the ministry and the directorate, will carry out activities ranging from determining the preservation interventions related to the mosque, to the physical maintenance, to strengthen the earthquake risk, and to make arrangements suitable for the access of visitors.
According to the principles section of the protocol, the historical, cultural, social, spiritual, and aesthetic values of the Hagia Sophia Mosque will be protected based on internationally and nationally accepted conservation legislation and principles.
There will not be any physical intervention that will harm the superior universal values, originality and integrity of the Hagia Sophia, including its concrete and intangible heritage.
The opinion of the relevant Scientific Advisory Board and the Administrative Board and the opinion of the Preservation Regional Board will be taken before any intervention to the popular site.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Center will be informed and a Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment Report will be prepared before the large-scale development and infrastructure activities that may affect the mosque.
The Administrative Board will be established in Hagia Sophia to ensure coordination between units.
According to the protocol that distributes the duties and obligations between the parties, Diyanet will be responsible for religious services in the mosque and the ministry will be responsible for the preservation activities.
The General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums will identify and implement mosque preservation interventions.
A technical committee to supervise protection practices will be established to carry out activities related to protection and risk management.