Construction work for new Atatürk Cultural Center may begin in February
A tender will be held in November to select the developer who will build the new AKM. The foundation for the new cultural center will be laid in February 2019, Ersoy told state-run Anadolu Agency.
Two years after construction works kick off, the new cultural center will open its doors, according to the minister.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan disclosed the details of the new AKM in November last year.
The new building will consist of a cultural center overlooking Taksim Square and Gezi Park.
It includes an opera house, theater, cinema and concert halls, an exhibition center, a convention hall, a library, a museum, an art gallery, cafes and restaurants.
The total size of the center will increase to 35,206 square meters, from 5,794 square meters, as it had been previously.
Construction for the original AKM building began on May 29, 1946. However, due to lack of funding, its construction had been halted for many years. Ten years later, building works began anew.
It was completed 23 years later and opened its doors on April 12, 1969 under the name “Istanbul Cultural Palace.”
Barely a year-and-a-half later, a fire broke out during a performance of Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible” on Nov. 27, 1970, causing extensive damage.