If you’re not a resident of Thessaloniki, then you may not know that the city is in the midst of building an underground metro. People here have been kept in suspense for the past…errr…7 years now. There have been some setbacks from the start – some financial, some due to all the Byzantine treasures that keep surfacing through the rubble. We can ignore the past all we want, it’s still going to find a way to remind us it’s there.
Most recently, an appeal was made to preserve the remnants of the Byzantine city which lays buried underneath Thessaloniki’s city center. It seems the plan is to keep moving forward with construction, without much regard for the dismantling (and possible destruction) of some of the most incredible Byzantine artifacts discovered to date.
Thessaloniki’s history is centuries old, and so anyone inclined to dig will find archeological treasures. The same is true for much of the rest of Greece, after all. And while we house many incredible artifacts in in our very own Museum of Byzantine Culture, the most impressive Byzantine structure is undoubtedly Agia Sofia Church in Istanbul. The structure is almost 1,500 years old.
The following photos were taken on my trip to Istanbul a couple of years back.There really are no words to adequately describe what it feels like to walk through it, to look up and about. Awestruck comes close, but that’s about it.
It’s incredible that archeologists and politicians are debating over what to do with these precious artifacts just as Dolce and Gabbana are sending their Autumn/Winter 2013-2014 collection down the runway during Milan’s fashion week. I mean, this literally happened at the same time. And if Byzantine art really isn’t your thing, then perhaps the next series of photos may change your mind. I’ve included only select photos, so if you like what you see, head over to Vogue to check out the rest of the collection.
While some may dismantle and dig up Byzantium for the sake of progress, others resurrect the Byzantine muse for the sake of art, for the sake of fashion. Enjoy.