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Small copy of Hagia Sophia damaged by fire

Posted on 12 February 2011

Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque

What a shame! For the third consecutive time a historic building in Istanbul has been damaged by what seems to be negligence or unprofessional work.

First there was the fire at the Haydarpaşa Train Station in November last year. It was a disaster.  A fire broke out on the roof during ongoing restoration. The roof and the top floor of the historical building on the Asian side of Istanbul suffered tremendous damage.

Then the German Fountain, one of the iconic monuments in the touristic area of Sultanahmet, was damaged by unprofessional workmen who cleaned the outside and inside of the fountain with high water pressure equipment. As a result part of the ceiling, covered with gold leaf mosaic, was blown away.

And yesterday fire broke out at the historical Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque during restoration work as well!

It makes me so angry. Can’t people do their work properly? Why isn’t there more security and oversight by experts to prevent these kind of disasters from happening all the time? Who is responsible?

The Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque in Istanbul’s Tophane district is one of my favorites. It was constructed in 1580 by the master architect of the Ottoman Empire, Mimar Sinan, at the direction of Kılıç Ali Paşa, the head of the Ottoman Navy. It is considered a smaller copy of the Hagia Sophia.

The fire started in the afternoon in the wooden eaves of the mosque. Firemen were able to put the fire out before it could cause serious damage to the structure of the mosque.

The Istanbul 2010 European Culture Capital Agency and the Prime Ministry’s Istanbul Directorate of Foundations have been carrying out restoration work on the mosque. The restoration work is being done by the AN-SA company (Abide Construction Restoration Project).

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2 responses to “Small copy of Hagia Sophia damaged by fire”

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