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'Great Seljuk Heritage' project to take stock of artifacts

KONYA - Anatolia News Agecy | 12/24/2009 12:00:00 AM |

More than 400 pieces from the Seljuk Empire, one of the most important civilizations of Turkish origin, will be photographed from museums in countries around the world, and a documentary film of the material will be made.

More than 400 pieces from the Seljuk Empire, one of the most important civilizations of Turkish origin, will be photographed from museums in countries around the world, and a documentary film of the material will be made.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Great Seljuk Heritage project’s documentary director and photographer İbrahim Dıvarcı said they were working to make people become familiar with their own civilization. The project was prepared under the auspices of the Turkish presidency.

As part of the project, Dıvarcı said, the “Anatolia Seljuk Civilizations Photography Album” was prepared and a documentary film was made by the Konya Selçuklu Municipality in 2008. Seljuk artifacts were introduced during the “Anatolia Seljuk Provinces Symposium” in the same year.

Dıvarcı said organizers pushed to work for the Great Seljuk Heritage project in 2009. “Following nearly two and a half years of preliminary work, this project, prepared by the Konya Aydınlar Ocağı (Intellectuals Hearth), was presented to the presidency this year in April and accepted,” he said.

“The presidency attaches special importance to the project. We receive support from presidency Secretary-General Mustafa İsen at every level. Deputy Secretary-General Nadir Alpaslan is also closely interested in this project,” he said. “Work started this October.”

[HH] Seljuk artifacts around the world

As part of the project, Seljuk architectural works in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Yemen and the autonomous republic Nakhichevan will be photographed and recorded. Marble, wood, tile and stone objects, coins, carpets and handwritten documents of the Great Seljuk collections in museums in Britain, Germany, the United States, Russia, France, Syria and Iran will also be photographed.

Dıvarcı said that along with photographs, the organizers also plan to chart the artifacts. “We will work on more than 400 artifacts for the project. We will also work on maybe hundreds of pieces in museums,” he said. “At the end of the 30-month project, a three-volume photography album, 120-minute documentary and one-volume book will be prepared. When the project is done, we will have a complete inventory of the Seljuk artifacts that still survive. The ones that need urgent restoration will be presented to the public.”

Dıvarcı said the Foreign Ministry and the Turkish International Development and Cooperation Agency, or TIKA, worked hard to implement the project, which is expected to cost $850,000. “A total of $500,000 of the cost will be financed by the Prime Ministry Promotion Fund,” said Dıvarcı, adding that it was scheduled to be finished at the beginning of 2012.

Dıvarcı said 2,000 copies of books, albums and documentaries would be produced and distributed to various institutes like the presidency, Prime Ministry and Foreign Ministry.

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