“It is an insult to the world cultural heritage that the Monastery of Chora, which has been operating as a museum since 1958, is being converted into an Islamic mosque,” stated the Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni.

“The Monastery of Chora is one of the most important Byzantine monuments. It is a monastery whose first phase dates back to the 6th century. In the 9th century we have a second phase and finally, in the 11th-12th century AD, it became what it is today. The mosaics of the Monastery of Chora and its mural decoration, its hagiographies, are a unique art. It is a monument, whose art and value, I would dare to say, is comparable to that of Hagia Sophia “, continued the minister.

As already stated in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcement: “It is sad that in the 21st century, instead of seeing religious tolerance and multiculturalism, we go backwards. We are all talking about dialogue of cultures, about consensus and tolerance. These moves bring us far back”.