Rebuilt Dresden Palace hosts large collection from Turkey

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 3/4/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Following the restoration of the Dresden Royal Palace, a permanent exhibition for the "Turkish Chamber," the oldest and largest collection of Oriental-Turkish artwork outside Turkey, will be on display in Germany for the first time in 70 years. Highlights of the exhibition include an opulent Ottoman tent more than 20 meters long and 6 meters high

In a much-anticipated cultural event, Dresden is preparing to exhibit the Oriental-Turkish artwork accumulated through the centuries by Saxony’s royal rulers.

Museum officials have spent 5.7 million euros restoring the artwork and preparing the exhibition hall for the “Türkische Kammer” (Turkish Chamber).

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the art-loving Electors of Saxony accumulated a wide variety of precious Oriental works reflecting their taste for stylish objects, passion for collecting and desire to acquire princely prestige.

Though these objects later found their way into an independent section at the Dresden State Art Collection, an attractive exhibition space to present them has been lacking for the past 70 years. The objects were displayed in the Dresden Johanneum in the 1940s, but only a few selected items from the Turkish Chamber were included in the permanent exhibition of the Rüstkammer (Armory) after 1959.

For the past 20 years, senior curator Holger Schuckelt has been planning a new exhibition while Armory officials attempt to restore the objects to their former glory in preparation for their display.

The architectural firm Peter Kulka Architektur Dresden GmbH has collaborated closely with the Armory in designing a completely new form of presentation for the Turkish works of art.

The roughly 600 objects, which the Saxon rulers either received as diplomatic gifts, purchased or acquired as booty from wars with the Ottomans, will be presented on the second floor of the Dresden Royal Palace.

[HH] Latest exhibition technology

The exhibition, which begins March 7, will utilize the very latest in exhibition technology, creating a unique and unforgettable visit for museum patrons. Air-conditioned showcases made of double-coated anti-glare glass have been specially manufactured for the exhibition. Set against blue walls and red-silk background fabric, the exquisite works of art will shine in the interplay of light and darkness.

Highlights of the new permanent exhibition include life-size wooden horses carved especially for the presentation of opulent equestrian equipment. Designed with unique, individual features, each Arabian stallion weighs roughly 150 kilograms.

Most spectacularly, the exhibition is also displaying a 17th-century Ottoman tent that is 20 meters long, 8 meters wide and 6 meters high. It was brought to Dresden in 1729 by August the Strong. Painstakingly restored over the past 14 years, the tent is made of satin, cotton and gilt leather. Visitors will also be able to walk through the tent to experience the full magnificence of its lavish interior.

The new permanent exhibition will also be accompanied by a wide-ranging museum education program, including guided tours in Turkish.

Dresden’s streets have been adorned with posters advertising the exhibition and museum officials have also brought Turkish anchorwoman Nazan Eckes and Turkish actor Adnan Maral on board as exhibition ambassadors.

Most uniquely, 4.5 million döner wrappers advertising the event have been distributed to 1,200 döner shops around the country.



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