Turkey: Priceless Byzantine frescoes in Panagia Sumela Monastery destroyed

September 20, 2020

Persecution of Christians in Turkey: this vandalism demonstrates that the contempt for the Christian history and heritage of Asia Minor that we see in the conversion of Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of the Holy Savior in Chora to mosques is not held solely by governing authorities, but by many of the people as well. The general contempt for Christianity and Christians is also manifested in the ongoing denial of property rights and legal identity to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Turkey, see here.

“Panagia Sumela Monastery frescoes destroyed in Turkey (photos),” Thema News, August 9, 2020:

The authorities say no damage was done

Vandals defaced and damaged priceless Byzantine frescoes in the Holy Monastery of Panagia Sumela in Trabzon, on the coast of northeast Turky [sic].

Sumela Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary and attracts many pilgrims and tourists every year on her feast day on August 15. It was built in 386 AD.

Th [sic] culprits destroyed Byzantine frescoes, while the Monastery was closed for repairs.

Turkish authorities deny the disaster, with the Deputy Director General of Cultural Heritage and Museums of the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism stating that there was no recent damage to the frescoes in the Monastery.