Some artifacts from Istanbul’s ancient Hagia Sophia will be displayed in a nearby public building since the former museum was opened to Muslim worship on July 24.
A provincial land office in Istanbul’s historical peninsula, Sultanahmet, was transferred to the Tourism and Culture Ministry’s ownership upon the president’s orders, the official website for the public office said.
“This building will display artifacts from Hagia Sophia that can’t be displayed there, or other items that were formerly displayed there,” said Istanbul Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Coşkun Yılmaz.
Yılmaz didn’t specify which artifacts would remain in Hagia Sophia and which would be transferred.
The former land office building will be transformed into a museum by the Tourism Ministry as soon as it’s vacated, improving its layout and infrastructure, he added.
Made up of two sections, the building dates back to the late 19th and early 20th century.
The older wing, built in 1881, was still used as an archive and dining hall until evacuation began.
Meanwhile, the second part of the building was built in 1910 on land bought from local businesses on Sultanahmet square.