Bayburt museum welcomes European Museum Award
Kenan Yavuz Ethnography Museum, which was established by businessman Kenan Yavuz in his village in the northern province of Bayburt, has been awarded the 2021 European Museum of the Year Silletto Award by the European Museum Forum (EMF). The award was welcomed by the city’s residents.
A cultural house, established in 2013 by Yavuz in the village of Beşpınar, where he was born and raised, was granted the status as a private museum in 2019. The museum is perched on a total of 15,000 square meters, which includes 4,500 square meters closed area and 10,500 square meters open space.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 12,000 people visited the museum, which was established to embellish the social memory and carry cultural riches to the future.
Stating that it is a source of pride for the museum to be awarded an international award, Bayburt Governor Cüneyt Epcim said, “There are also special awards announced by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, but Kenan Yavuz Ethnography Museum received the most important museum award of the year, given under the auspices of the European Commission. We would like to announce to all of Turkey that the most prestigious award among the six awards given on the same day was given to the Kenan Yavuz Ethnography Museum. We expect to see all citizens, culture and tourism lovers at our museum.”
Speaking about the museum format, Epcim said, “A newly developing concept in museology is ‘experience tourism.’ We established this place as a living and developing museum during the period when we chaired the advisory board of the museum. We think we achieved success in this. We will set various event calendars and try to take important steps towards making our museum a living and developing museum. We want to introduce Bayburt’s cultural richness to the whole world through this museum.”
The governor said that Kenan Yavuz Ethnography Museum reflects the cultural richness of Bayburt as well as of Anatolia in the best way.
Pointing out that the lack of accommodation opportunity in the museum was also compensated by a good project, Epcim said that construction continues for the accommodation, and as it gets finished, they will bring a much more comprehensive museum understanding there.
The founder of the museum, Yavuz said that they are happy to win this prize on behalf of Turkey for the third time after the Museum of Innocence in Istanbul and Baksı Museum, also in Bayburt.
“Located in a remote Beşpınar village, the museum has become an advocate for the conscious return to local roots and heritage, revitalization of the village of Beşpınar and neighboring settlements, and wider awareness of the benefits of village and community life more generally. The museum addresses the dramatic transformation of Turkey during the last century as a result of migration from villages to cities and the abandonment of many villages. Kenan Yavuz Ethnography Museum aims to reverse this trend by demonstrating how cultural projects and greater awareness of the richness of village heritage can revitalize villages and the lives of their residents, young and old,” the European Museum Forum says on its website about the Kenan Yavuz Ethnography Museum.
“The museum’s goal is to preserve and revive the tangible and intangible heritage of local villages in the Bayburt region. Aware that economic development is essential to the realization of this goal, Kenan Yavuz Ethnography Museum is demonstrating the potential of heritage tourism and the hospitality industry to create new jobs and improve the quality of life for the villagers and inhabitants of the wider region of Bayburt,” it adds.