In the framework of the annual awards of the Academy of Athens for 2023, a ceremony was held on Thursday, December 21, where the Volume of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) entitled “Hagia Sophia: The Churches of the wisdom of God around the world” was awarded. The award was presented by the President of the Academy of Athens, Mr. Michalis Stathopoulos to the head of the IAO, Secretary General Dr. Maximos Charakopoulos together with the scientific responsible of the publication, Professor of Theology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Ms. Ioanna Stoufi-Poulimenou. On behalf of the IAO, the wonderful ceremony was also attended by the head of the parliamentary delegation of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus to the IAO, Mr. Panikos Leonidou, and the Coordinator of the Volume, IAO Advisor Dr. Kostas Mygdalis.
The IAO Secretary General, emphasized the following regarding the award of the Volume: “The award from the Academy of Athens for the Volume published by the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy on the Churches of Hagia Sophia around the world, is the highest recognition of the significance of this important scientific project. This honorary distinction, for which I warmly thank the president and the respected members of the Academy, is, at the same time, an characteristic moral justification of our work (…) our project’s awarding by the Academy of Athens encourages us to further continue the campaign we have undertaken for the awareness of the international community on the issue of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (Constantinople) after its conversion from a museum into a mosque. This highest honor is a motivation to the effort we have undertaken to protect Christian monuments, as well as to promote the values of Orthodoxy, peace and cooperation”.
The head of the interparliamentary institution personally thanked the President of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Konstantinos Tassoulas, “who effectively supports the implementation of this great project”.
The Volume for Hagia Sophia is the result of the Memorandum of Understanding signed on May 24, 2021, between the IAO and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, by the IAO Secretary General and the NKUA Rector at the time Mr. Meletios-Athanasios Dimopoulos. A multinational scientific team contributed with relevant texts for the 37 historic emblematic Churches, dedicated to the Wisdom of God from Scotland to China, while the IAO Advisor Dr. Kostas Mygdalis undertook the general coordination of the publication.