The 40-month restoration process has begun in the 446-year-old Selimiye Mosque, one of the masterpieces of Mimar Sinan, the chief Ottoman architect, in the northwestern province of Edirne, the provincial directorate for foundations has announced.
“The illuminated minarets [of the mosque] will be seen by the Greek side,”Osman Güneren told İhlas News Agency on Nov. 30.
Within the scope of the restoration works, most of the inner parts and the windows of the mosque, lead plates and handwritings will be renewed.
Sinan, also known as the Grand Architect, started the construction of the mosque, which was commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan Selim II, in 1568 when he was 95 years old. The mosque, opened to public service in 1575 after seven years of rigorous work, became one of the highest achievements of Islamic architecture and a great example of Ottoman architecture.
The Selimiye Mosque was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
“We handed the mosque to the restoration company on Nov. 26. We expect that it will take some 40 months to finish,” Güneren said.
He also remarked on the illumination of the minarets. “Greeks will be able to see the Selimiye Mosque, too,”he added.