‘Superpower’ Turkey seeks to protect cultural heritage
ANTALYA – Anadolu AgencyTurkey, a “superpower in terms of cultural heritage,” has a wealth of artifacts to display but also has its work cut out in terms of maintaining its heritage, according to the general director of Cultural Heritage and Museums.
“Our country is a superpower in terms of cultural properties. The number of registered cultural properties exceeds 101,000 and the number of archaeological sites has reached 15,000. We have lots of work to do, but we are hopeful. We love our duty, and I believe we can do better things by using our opportunities and rare resources,” Abdullah Kocapınar said yesterday at the 25th Museum Rescue Excavations Symposium and the second International Museum Workshop in the southern province of Antalya.
Museums have turned into social venues where people can spend their time throughout the day.
Stating that the understanding of museum management had changed in the country, Kocapınar said archaeology, ethnography and private museums had contributed to this process.
Last year, 210 museums joined excavations with the support of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Kocapınar said. “Museums have undertaken the duty of protecting this cultural heritage that not only belongs to Turkey but also to the world. As of today, 198 museums and open-air museums as well as 138 ancient sites, which are affiliated with the ministry, are hosting visitors.”
Discussing private museums in the international area in recent years, Kocapınar said the number of private museums had reached 217 in March 2016.
In addition to displays and merchandizing, museums also functioned as educational venues in order to contribute to social and cultural awareness, he said.
Ankara University academic and Museum Professionals project coordinator Professor Belgin Akçay said an understanding of contemporary museums had supplanted an understanding or more classical museums in Turkey and that the focal spot had become visitors and sustainability rather than objects.
“Today it is important that museums should stand on their own feet,” she said.
Organized in different city every year
The symposium, which ends today, has been organized in a different city every year since 1990 with big participation. During the symposiums, works and excavations carried out by museum directorates are discussed.
This year’s symposium is being attended by 400 professional from various organizations, as well as many academics from Turkish Cyprus, the United States, Britain and Austria, as well as Turkey.
Within the scope of the organization, officials of museums, laboratories and the directorates of surveying and monuments will come together on April 16 and 17 to discuss joint problems and solution proposals.