Inside Aya Sofya on Flickr – by krensucht

Why were Hagia Sophia’s mosaics covered?

Because Islam tends away from representational imagery, many mosaics were destroyed and others were covered with plaster.

Hagia Sophia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


047 – Hagia Sofia uncovered mosaic on Flickr – by Metatron


plaster & mosaic detail on Flickr – by kenzilicious


049 – Hagia Sofia uncovered mosaic on Flickr – by Metatron

Why aren’t all the mosaics uncovered?

Restoration work in the 20th century was begun in 1932 by the American Byzantine Institute, during which most of the figures were uncovered. Due to its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process.


plaster detail on Flickr – by howtorowacat

The Christian iconographic mosaics are being gradually uncovered. However, in order to do so, important, historic Islamic art would have to be destroyed. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures.


Mosaic column detail on Flickr – by SUE&XU

Is there a Mosaic under the Dome’s Calligraphy?

In particular, much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited (assuming the mosaic still exists).

Hagia Sophia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Is the Pantocrator Mosaic of Christ under there? – by guranf


Mosaic detail on Flickr – by Mistress B


mosaic detail on Flickr – by feuillu


Mosaic detail on Flickr – by Mistress B

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