İstanbul's first 'city museum' to be built on Büyükada!

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    Büyükada will soon host a first for İstanbul: a “city museum.” This museum will ultimately **** to preserve objects, sounds and images that are in danger of simply disappearing from modern life.

    Though a city as large and disparate as İstanbul really deserves a separate museum for each of its districts, one year from now, its first real city museum will be open on Büyükada's Taş Mektep. At an informational meeting on the museum held on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, people gathered in a darkened room to learn what they could about the new enterprise, as all the diverting activities of the island went on around them, from horse-drawn carriage tours and bicycle rides to drinking tea and eating ice cream.

    Speeches addressing just what exactly a city museum is were interspersed with calls for long-time residents of the island to pull some of their beloved old memorabilia out of dusty chests to share with the museum. There was a definite air of gratitude mixed with pleading requests reigning in the salon that day; after all, island residents need to believe and support this museum, both materially and spiritually, if it is to be established by the year 2010. There was great support expressed for the idea of the museum by ethnically Greek, Armenian and Jewish residents of the island in attendance at the meeting; they one by one took the opportunity to vocalize the message: “We are behind you.” This message in essence was great news for the museum in that it meant “The doors of our homes are open to you.” Alongside this, island residents were really saying, “Take and use our albums, our old documents, our letters, our maps, even the dresses worn by our grandmothers.” While the term “city museum” sounds so simple, it really isn't sufficient to describe what is going on. The museum that is coming to the island of Büyükada really promises much more than just the preservation of objects and sounds and memories under a roof and between four walls; what it promises, too, is a modern creation that will work not only to give people a perspective on today, but will also **** shape the future.

    Museum sparks action

    It is very interesting to hear directly from someone who has seen and closely examined many museums throughout the world just how a city museum will actually affect and shape the city it is in. The director of museums for the İstanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency, Suay Aksoy, believes the “golden era of objects” is over. “There is an incredible level of production and consumption happening now. What kind of cell phone, for example, could we put on display in a museum? We are in the era of virtual representations, such as films and photographs,” she explains. According to this new way of seeing things, what is deemed important is not what a museum preserves and displays, but what a museum says and how it expresses itself. These days, the size and depth of collections are barely looked at, instead all the attention goes to how the objects are used and whether meaningful expressions are derived from these collections. On this note, Aksoy says, “Entering a city museum should be like watching a film or picking up and reading a book from start to finish.” This new generation of museums are like live organisms, addressing us directly and waiting for us to respond. This being the case, these are museums that not only expect us to lend our material and spiritual support, but also demand that we take part in their debate forums and come to their art performances and exhibitions. Additionally, temporary shows are beginning to gain prominence over long-term and permanent exhibitions. This reflects how cities are now, so much more mixed and changeable than they were in the past and with such a vast number of both objects and concepts waiting to be displayed.

    Waiting for the islands’ museum

    The cost of the Adalar Müzesi will be TL 2,600,000. It will cover, among other topics, the phenomenon of immigration and exile, stretching from the Byzantine era all the way through to the Ottoman Empire and the founding of the Turkish Republic. Sixty percent of this project is being funded by the İstanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency. If everything goes according to plan, in around a year from now, when you get off a ferry at Büyükada, you'll see signs telling you about the activities and events at the Adalar Müzesi, which might just lead you to postpone that tea you were planning on drinking by the shore.


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  2. HePBiZ

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  3. sumeyra

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