Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)
The Committee was informed that problems with the project's financing had caused some delays in the restoration of the mosaics and that UNESCO's experts present on the site had expressed their regret to the authorities responsible for the work that, in spite of their recommendations, the metallic covering of the Haghia Sophia was executed with a material which was too thin and therefore fragile.
Furthermore, it was informed that, according to the UNESCO experts on site, reconstruction of long portions of the Roman and Byzantine walls was being undertaken using new stones without taking account of the advice of archaeologists and art historians.
The Committee recommended to the Turkish authorities to take the necessary steps to speed up the transfer of funds approved under the World Heritage Fund for the restoration of the mosaics in the Haghia Sophia to those responsible for its conservation.
The Committee also requested that the Turkish authorities immediately stop the reconstruction of the Roman and Byzantine walls, and that they undertake their restoration, in accordance with principles accepted by the international community, and in collaboration with the Turkish antiquities services.