successive wanderings and ravages of the patriarchal church have
costed the loss of many icons. The two mosaic icons of the Virgin
Pammakaristos and of St. John the Baptist were among the few
treasures rescued with great difficulty from destruction. As
recorded, in 1587, «Nicephorus rescued books, icons, relics and
other sacred objects that were inside the church». The archives
published to this day do not allow an overall appraisal of the art
treasures that had adorned at times the patriarchal church, since no
lists or records of the icons have survived. Besides, the so-called
«Treasury of Hagia Sophia» has not been published as yet by the
Turkish art historians, and it is therefore unknown whether it has
preserved any important art treasures from the Byzantine era.
1933, G. Soteriou was able to locate in the whole area of
Constantinople no more than 135 old icons that had belonged to
churches and monasteries. The number is indicative of the great
destructions that occurred in Byzantine and post-Byzantine times.
Today the icons preserved are even fewer.