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Angel of antiquity unveiled in Turkey

2009-07-28 09:33 BJT

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Turkey's Minister of Culture says restoration workers have uncovered a well-preserved mosaic face of an angel long-hidden at the former Byzantine cathedral of Haghia Sophia in Istanbul.

The mosaics were plastered over according to Muslim custom that prohibits the representation of humans.
The mosaics were plastered over according to Muslim custom that
prohibits the representation of humans.

The seraphim figure is one of two located on the side of a dome. The figures had been covered up along with the building's other Christian mosaics shortly after Constantinople - the former name for Istanbul - fell to the Ottomans in 1453. At that time, the cathedral was turned into a mosque.

The mosaics were plastered over according to Muslim custom that prohibits the representation of humans.

Some of the mosaics were revealed when the domed complex was turned into a museum in 1935, but the seraphim remained largely hidden.