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Angel’s face uncovered at Istanbul’s Haghia Sophia cathedral

Restoration work has uncovered a long-hidden mosaic of an angel’s face at Istanbul’s Byzantine cathedral – the Hagia Sophia.

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.

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