ADANA – Anadolu Agency
The first stage of the Adana Museum Complex, the Archaeology Museum, which is home to archaeological and ethnographical works as well as agricultural and industrial tools and machines, opened on May 18 with a ceremony.
“Today we are unearthing the underground richness of this region,” said Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı.
“We will display this richness in the second stage. The number of artifacts on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List has increased to 72. We also have 16 permanent artifacts on the list. We will discuss the inclusion of the ancient city of Aphrodisias in Aydın at the 41st World Committee Meeting to be held in Poland in July. Göbeklitepe in Şanlıurfa will be our nominee at the next year’s meeting. We are also working for the return of smuggled artifacts,” Avcı added.
He said the transformation of the closed factory into a museum is a very good example showing how to protect a country’s history.
“These works are only for the first stage. Ethnography, industry and agriculture museums will be added here in the second stage. This place will also survive the memory of Orhan Kemal, who made great contributions to the promotion of this region. We will establish a unit for him in the museum. When the second stage is done, this will be Turkey’s and the Middle East’s largest museum,” Avcı added. A total area of 68,500 square-meters
The museum complex is being established in the century-old factory.
Works for the museum complex were initiated three years ago by the Culture and Tourism Ministry General Directorate of Cultural Beings and Museums in the Milli Mensucat (National Textile) Factory, built in 1907 in the southern province of Adana’s Seyhan district. An important part of the works has been recently finished.
Once the complex is completely finished, the museum is set to be one of the largest museums in the Middle East. The Archaeology Museum department covers an area of 12,500 square meters out of 68,500 square-meters.
The museum is made up of seven halls depicting the history of mankind with documents, visuals, dioramas and animations.
Sculptures, tombs, steles, altars and busts from prehistoric Hittite, Assyrian, Archaic, Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman, Seljuk and Ottoman periods; various containers made of glass, earth and bronze; earthenware and bronze candles; small ancient-era statuettes, cylinder and stamp seals; glass, bronze and gold jewelries as well as artifacts from the 18th century are on display at the museum.
Among the most significant artifacts on display are the stone sculpture of the Hittite Storm God Tarhun, a stele with the Anatolian hieroglyph inscription, Babylon stele, a bronze male sculpture removed from the sea in Adana’s Karataş district and the Roman-era Anthropoid Tomb and Achilles Tomb.
Big museum was necessary
Culture and Tourism Director Sabri Tari said the use of the textile factory, which is a registered cultural heritage and has a significant place in Adana’s history, as a museum will be a great gain for the city.
Tari said that with the support of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the archaeology museum was finished in the first stage, and the complex was designed as a structure for social life not only for display.
He said the restoration has continued for three years and the museum was closed in this process, adding that it was a trouble for the city’s tourism.
“The Archaeology Museum will compensate this trouble. Adana needed a big museum. We believe that that this museum will make great contribution to tourism. The next stages of the complex include an agricultural museum among citrus trees and the industrial museum featuring the city’s industrial history,” Tari added.
Adana Museum Deputy Director Nedmi Dervişoğlu said the museum has a rich archaeology potential and will satisfy visitors, adding that the museum will reflect the history of the region to a great extent with many artifacts.
“The museum will have 3D animations from the ancient ages. The Hittite-era Tarhun sculpture from 1,000 B.C., which was found in 1997 during an excavation in Yüreğir’s Çine village, is one of the highlights of the museum. Also, we have tombs from the Hellenistic and Roman periods as well as sculptures from the same periods,” Dervişoğlu added.
The museum, which opened on May 18, can be visited for free for the first three days.