Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sancta Sophia and the New Business Partner (Part 1)

Having had enough of modernity, my agenda today included a formal inspection of the Hagia Sophia—the famed Byzantine church-turned-mosque-turned-museum known for the innovative architectural feature known as a dome.  Construction of the cathedral, which occurred between 532 and 537, was ordered by the illustrious Emperor Justinian and overseen by Greek scientists Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.  I wanted to see for myself the quality of its upkeep at the hands of the Turkish government.

To my horror, I noticed a distinct lack of interest in conserving the one-of-a-kind mosaics (such as the Δέησις mosaic from 1261) in the Hagia Sophia.  Thus, I voluntarily searched all throughout Istanbul for art conservation supplies, finally locating them at a nearby hardware store.  (Which reminds me, I must see if the Turkish government will reimburse me, since I had no choice but to pay out-of-pocket on such short notice).  I utilized my knowledge of thirteenth century Christian iconography to meticulously return the piece to its former glory.  I'll allow my restoration efforts to speak for themselves:

A freshly-restored Deësis mosaic
Truly stunning beyond mere words.

As I exited the building, leaving behind shrieks of delight (fellow visitors having finally encountered my noble effort to preserve such an amazing monument to human ingenuity), a member of the Rodentia order happened to cross my path.  I bravely let our a war cry and pursued the filthy vermin.  At last, I had the creature trapped in a corner.  Down upon its vile cranium fell the mighty trowel!

"You know," came a high-pitched voice from nearby, "that was an Asia Minor spiny mouse, a highly endangered species."

I looked about for the source of the voice, whereupon a ragged, one-eyed cat sauntered into view.  It proceeded to consume my quarry until only its thin tail hung from the cat's mouth.  The feline slurped up the tail as one would a spaghetti noodle.

The mysterious one-eyed cat
"Then I have indeed done the nation of Turkey a great service," I answered.  "Thanks to my efforts, there is one less plague-bringing mouse to continue the species."

"I think you've missed the point," said the cat.

"Indeed!  I have yet to inquire as to your name."

"I don't have one, as far as I know.  I'm sort of the information center's unofficial pet, but they've never bothered to call me anything other than 'cat.'  Its quite disrespectful to act that way around nobility.  I wouldn't even come here if it weren't for the free food."

"Nobility?"  I raised an eyebrow incredulously.

"I'm the reincarnation of King Priam of Troy"....

To be continued.

No comments:

Post a Comment