Turkish authorities have given the green light for the renovation of Hagia Sophia of Trebizond, including the uncovering of all hagiographies that are now covered with wood panels.
Hagia Sophia of Trebizond, is one of the most important Pontian monuments. Since the 1960s, the Byzantine church had been converted to a museum, attracting many visitors for its impressive frescoes, mosaics and its architecture.
However, in July 2013, Turkish authorities converted it into a mosque and covered all the hagiographies and mosaics with wooden panels. Now they decided to turn into a museum again in order to boost tourism in the area, after local tourist businesses complained of a sharp decline in tourist traffic after the conversion of Hagia Sophia to a mosque.
According to the director of culture and tourism of the province of Trebizond, Ali Aivazoglu, the wooden panels will be removed to expose the hagiographies and mosaics, and will be covered with glass.