July 29, 2020 - 10:19 AMT
Hagia Sophia artifacts will be displayed in separate museum

A historic building, belonging to a regional directorate of the Istanbul Land Registry and Cadastre at Sultanahmet Square, is set to be turned into a museum where all of Hagia Sophia’s artifacts will be displayed, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

The building is currently being evacuated while works to restore Hagia Sophia artifacts are ongoing.

Speaking to Demirören News Agency, Istanbul’s Director of Culture and Tourism Coşkun Yılmaz said that the building allocated to become the Hagia Sophia Museum has historical significance.

“The famous Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is right next to the [building],” he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced earlier in July that he would turn the building back into a mosque, fulfilling a longtime promise of his. Later in the month, Erdogan himself attended the first prayer service at the Hagia Sophia in over 86 years.

The famous landmark, built as a cathedral during the Byzantine Empire, stood as a place of worship for Greek Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics and Muslims for centuries before to being turn into a secular museum in the 1930s.