The Parthenon was built on the initiative of Pericles, the Athenian General of the 5th century BC. It was built by the architects Callicrate, Ictino, and Mnesicle to continue a project already started with Callicrate under Cimone. The construction took place under the strict supervision of the Fidia sculptor is a Greek temple, of Doric order rising on the Acropolis of Athens, dedicated to the goddess Athena. This temple is the most famous find of ancient Greece; has been praised as the best realization of classical Greek architecture and its decorations are considered some of the greatest elements of Greek art. The Parthenon is a long-lasting symbol of ancient Greece and Athenian democracy and is undoubtedly one of the greatest cultural monuments in the world. The Parthenon replaced the oldest temple of Athena Polias that had been destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC, at the time of Serse. Like most Greek temples, the Parthenon was used as a treasury and for some time served as treasury of the Delo League, which later became the Athenian Empire. The Parthenon survived as the Temple of Athena for a thousand years. It was certainly still intact in the 4th century, and then it was already as old as the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris today, and much older than the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome. But at that time, Athens had been reduced to a provincial city of the Roman Empire, though with a glorious past. In the fifth century the great statue of Athena Promachos, which stood between the Parthenon and the Propylaea, was removed by the Emperor Theodosius II and taken to Constantinople, where he was later destroyed, possibly in the looting of the city during the Fourth Crusade (1204). In the Byzantine era, the Parthenon was converted into a church dedicated to Mary, or Theotokos (Mother of God). At the time of the Latin Empire it became briefly a Catholic church dedicated to the Madonna. The conversion of the Temple to church required the removal of the inner columns and some of the cell walls, and the creation of an apse in the eastern façade. This inevitably led to the removal and dispersion of some of the sculpted metopes. Those depictions of gods were reinterpreted on the Christian theme, or removed and destroyed. The rediscovery of the Parthenon as an ancient monument dates back to the time of Humanism; Circuit of Ancona was the first antiquity to describe the Parthenon, which he had read so many times in ancient texts. Thanks to him Western Europe could have the first design of the monument, which Ciriaco called "temple of the goddess Athena", unlike previous travelers, who had called it "church of Santa Maria"; after the visit he said he admired: In 1456, Athens fell under the Ottomans and the Parthenon was transformed into a mosque. Unlike subsequent stories, the Ottomans generally respected the ancient monuments on their territories, and did not disturb the antiquities of Athens, although they did not have an effective program to protect them. However, in times of war, they did not hesitate to demolish it in order to obtain materials for walls and fortifications. A minaret was added to the Parthenon and its base and its staircase are still functional, being tall as the lintel and invisible from the outside; but the building was not damaged. European visitors in the 17th century show that the building was largely intact. Strongly, the Parthenon is clearly a temple, which formerly contained the famous Athenian statue of Fidia, and was the venue for gathering votive offerings. Since Greek sacrifices were always on an invariably open altar, the Parthenon does not correspond to some of the "temple" definitions; no altarpiece has been discovered. and, most scholars still see the building in terms that Walter Burkert had written as a temple of worship.