GAZİANTEP - Anatolia News Agency
The world’s largest mosaic museum, the Zeugma Mosaic Museum has been drawing thousands of people from Turley and the world. AA Photos
Gaziantep’s Zeugma Museum, which has become famous across the region since opening on a huge site in the southeastern province of Gaziantep in 2011, is attracting more visitors day by day.
The museum, which was declared “the world’s largest mosaic museum” by the Tunisian Bardo National Museum and received the Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Award last year, hosted 175,000 visitors from Turkey and around the world in 2012.
Provincial Culture and Tourism Deputy Director Mehmet Aykanat said the museum displayed mosaics on an area of 2,464 square meters, lending the facility global significance.
He said the museum items, including the famous Gypsy Girl, a bronze sculpture of Mars, the wedding scene of Dionysos and Ariadne, wall paintings covering an area of 150 square meters, four Roman era fountains, 20 columns and funerary steles especially drew visitors.
The museum also received three other rewards in 2012, Aykanat said. “It received the Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Award in the field of archaeology. 2012 was the year of the Zeugma Mosaic Museum. It also got the Best Cultural and Tourism Investment Awards in July and the TripAdvisor Excellency Award in October.”
Aykanat said that although it was a new museum, it had received a high number of visitors and that the numbers would increase with redoubled efforts to attract even more people. “Some 175,000 people visited the museum in 2012 but this number is not enough for us. We continue working in Turkey and abroad to promote the museum with various materials.”
Gaziantep to be known for museums
Although Gaziantep typically conjures up images of food and industry among most people, this is changing, said the director. “Even though it is known for its industry and foods, the city is progressing to become the city of museums. From now on, it will also be remembered for its various museums. There are other museums in the city in addition to the Zeugma Mosaic Museum. Those who visit the city to see this museum also get a chance to see other museums.”
The Gaziantep Zeugma Museum also has a greater range of color harmony in comparison to Tunisia’s Bardo Museum, which held the title of world’s largest mosaic museum until the opening of Zeugma. The Tunisian mosaics have nine color harmonies while Zeugma has 13 color harmonies that are preserved with special methods to prevent the loss of any features.
The missing parts of the mosaics, which were plundered over the centuries by treasure hunters, are filled in with light effects, allowing visitors to see the pieces of art as a whole. The museum also works to raise awareness among visitors about the damage caused by treasure hunters.