Hagia Sophia artifacts to be displayed in separate museum
ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
A historic building, belonging to a regional directorate of the Istanbul Land Registry and Cadastre at Sultanahmet Square, is set to be turned into a museum where all of Hagia Sophia’s artifacts will be displayed.
The building is currently being evacuated while works to restore Hagia Sophia artifacts are ongoing.
Speaking to Demirören News Agency, Istanbul’s Director of Culture and Tourism Coşkun Yılmaz said that the building allocated to become the Hagia Sophia Museum has historical significance.
“The famous Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is right next to the [building],” he said.
Coşkun said that after Hagia Sophia become a museum in 1934, many artifacts from different places were being displayed, which will be exhibited in the aforementioned building after preparations are finalized.
“Delicate works will be carried out and the land registry and cadastre building will continue its functions as a very unique museum,” he added.
The director also said that the building is quite large and will also display artifacts other than those belonging to Hagia Sophia.
“All artifacts of Hagia Sophia will be brought together,” he said.
Coşkun added that some artifacts were stored in Hagia Sophia’s storage houses and the restoration and maintenance of these artifacts are currently ongoing by the Culture and Tourism Ministry.
“Some artifacts were sent to different places such as the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum or the Sultanahmet Mosque. We have the inventory records of these. Now, our ministry is bringing the artifacts together,” he said.
But some artifacts will remain in the Hagia Sophia Mosque while others will be displayed in the historic land registry building, according to Coşkun.
“This building is being handled by our ministry as a special project.”
As for the inauguration of the museum, Coşkun said that the time span will be determined soon, which will be shared with the public.