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AFP
July 15, 2020

Hagia Sophia

World

AFP
July 15, 2020

Istanbul: Turkey’s Hagia Sophia could open to visitors outside prayer times and its Christian icons will remain, religious officials said on Tuesday, after a court ruling paved the way for it to become a mosque. The sixth-century Istanbul landmark’s museum status -- in place since 1934 -- was revoked on Friday and control was handed to the religious authority, Diyanet. The decision sparked condemnation from Western governments, Russia and Christian leaders -- Pope Francis saying he was "very distressed".