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Experts warn Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia at risk as ancient gate damaged

The Hagia Sophia's damaged 1,400-year-old imperial gate could be the first of many disasters in the world heritage site due to neglect.
OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

One of Turkey's most significant historical artifacts, the Hagia Sophia, has been vandalized. 

The plight of the Hagia Sophia, which was converted to a mosque in July 2020, is back in the news with reports that the 1,400-year-old imperial gate of the edifice was vandalized. In April, the Turkish Union of Art History posted photos of the damage. The image of the vandalized oak door, warn observers, means that the international community’s repeated urging that the iconic building be used as an “intercultural space” have fallen on deaf ears. 

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