Icons and frescos of Hagia Sophia will be preserved as they are despite the change in status, Turkish Ambassador to Russia Mehmet Samsar said in an interview with TASS.
"Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia’s official name - TASS) mosque, just like any other our mosque, will be open to all visitors - local or foreign. And moving forward we will take care of this masterpiece, as we have been doing. Icons and frescos located here will be preserved in their current state, all visitors will see that. The change of Ayasofya’s status is not a violation of the UNESCO convention on world cultural and natural heritage (1972), which our country is a signatory to," the diplomat noted.