1,500-year-old mosaic tiles returned to Hagia Sophia after 55 years
Ancient mosaic tiles were returned to the Hagia Sophia Museum 55 years after employees there gave them to an American tourist, the Radical daily reported on Wednesday.
Eliza B. Chrystie was given the historic mosaic pieces by employees at the Hagia Sophia in 1956 during a visit to Turkey with her husband, a soldier, who had a meeting to attend in Ankara. The couple visited İstanbul, where they went to see the Hagia Sophia, which was under restoration at the time. The employees gave Chrystie five mosaic tiles made of stone and six tiles made from gold-leaf-plated glass, Radikal reported, which she put in her bag and stored in her home for years.
But, according to the Radikal report, she started feeling very remorseful and suffered from nightmares for years.
She returned to İstanbul with her sister in September to deliver the mosaic tiles and stones to their rightful owner. Not daring to return them herself to Hagia Sophia officials, she instead gave them to a jeweler while shopping in Sultanahmet Square. Read more.