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Greece called for UNESCO intervention due to Chora Church conversion into mosque

Athens is stepping up its response to the Turkish government’s decision to convert the Chora Church in Constantinople into a mosque, as reported by, by reaching out to UNESCO.

The Permanent Representative of Greece Giorgos Koumoutsakos met yesterday with Ernesto Ottone, Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, as well as with executives of the Cultural Heritage Centre. The demarche took place today, the first day of UNESCO’s operation after the holidays of the last days in France.

Mr. Koumoutsakos emphasised the conversion of the Chora Church into a mosque, highlighting the violation of its UNESCO status as an irreplaceable cultural treasure and a significant part of humanity’s heritage.

The Greek Permanent Representative conveyed Greece’s profound concerns regarding the decision’s repercussions on the integrity and authenticity of the monument itself. Moreover, he emphasized the potential threat to the intangible cultural heritage that the Chora Church has safeguarded for centuries.

He underscored that this decision blatantly contradicts international standards established for safeguarding the cultural heritage of humanity. The Assistant Director-General of UNESCO assured a commitment to diplomatically delve into the matter, emphasising that UNESCO will thoroughly investigate the issue in accordance with the established procedures of the Organisation.