Archbishop Elpidophoros meets UNESCO Advisor on Turkish mosque reconversion of Ayia Sophia


Archbishop Elpidophoros of America earlier this week in New York, met with Dr. Mounir Bouchenaki, UNESCO Special Advisor on Turkey’s unilateral reconversion of Ayia Sophia to a mosque.

During the meeting, Dr. Bouchenaki briefed His Eminence on the latest developments in the status of Ayia Sophia— which had previously been preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site before its reconversion—and shared his findings from his investigations into the conduct of Turkish authorities.

The archbishop was advised about both the structural damage that has since resulted to the sites, as well as the religious and symbolic harm suffered by Orthodox Christians in the aftermath of Turkey’s unlawful decision.

The meeting was joined by Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, Senior Fellow at the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and Christina Hioureas, Esq., Chair of the UN Practice Group at Foley Hoag Law Firm. Also present was Rev. Protopresbyter Nicolas Kazarian, Director of the GOARCH Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical, and Interfaith Relations.

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Left to Right: Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, Dr. Mounir Bouchenaki, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, Christina Hioureas Esq.

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