After I shared the news of a famous Armenian church being restored in Turkey to be converted to a museum with an online group of Armenian-Turkish scholars and students, I received some upsetting account by a Turkish member of the listserv who was in Kars last week and is unhappy with the restoration work. Below is the entire e-mail:

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Image: St. Apostles of Kars as seen in August of 2007 by a group of members; for more photos click here

Dear all,

I was in kars last week and I had the chance to see the restoration works. Unfortunately, as the church is being used as a mosque since 80’s, now the restoration work which is leading by general directory of vaqf (foundation) is going through a restoration of a mosque more than a church.

The municipality is not totally involved in to the restoration.

I m not an art historian, but the picture that I saw last week was terrible. Some of you may know that there were still some frescoes on the dome, but now unfortunately there are some Islamic paintings or figures instead of the frescoes.

I just wanted to inform you about the situation.