350-year-old tree transformed into sculpture

350-year-old tree transformed into sculpture

350-year-old tree transformed into sculpture

A 350-year-old plane tree in Safranbolu, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town in the Karabük province of the Karadeniz region, has been turned into a sculpture after facing the threat of withering away.

The sculpture transformation resulted from a restoration project at the Köprülü Mehmet Paşa Mosque’s courtyard, where the tree’s roots were inadvertently severed during the installation of a pipeline.

In a meticulous process, the Safranbolu Culture and Tourism Foundation applied chemicals to halt the decay, ultimately immortalizing the tree as a sculpture. Furnished with a plaque reading, “We apologize for failing to protect you,” the tree sculpture is a unique testament to the art of conservation.

Speaking about the project, Şefik Dizdar, the foundation’s president, said, “When this tree began to wither, we felt profound sorrow. It takes 350 years for such a tree to grow.”

"We aimed to turn this tree into a sculpture, in what is probably a first-of-its-kind endeavor in Türkiye. We pruned its branches, nursed it back to health, and used certain chemicals to prevent further decay. We will continue to care for it and have composed a eulogy to accompany it. We hope it sets an example for those preserving historical structures,” he added.

The tree’s transformation innovatively preserves natural heritage, blending conservation with artistic expression.