Beyoğlu seeks roots with new museum

Beyoğlu seeks roots with new museum

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Beyoğlu seeks roots with new museum

Demircan says the municipal museum’s collection will be based on the Tophane-i Amire show titled ‘A Timeline of Beyoğlu: Toward a City Museum’ (inset).

Istanbul’s Beyoğlu Municipality is laying the foundation for a municipal museum as part of celebrations for the 155th anniversary of the establishment of a municipal administration in the area. Presently, an exhibition on the history of the Beyoğlu municipality is on display at the Tophane-i Amire Culture Center, owned by the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts (MSGSÜ).

Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News, Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan said the museum idea came as a result of a necessity, given the chief role Beyoğlu plays in shaping the cultural life of the whole city. “Municipal decisions influence the development and the whole future of cities. Therefore we decided to showcase the decisions we have made so far to create Beyoğlu’s, and thus Istanbul’s future,” he said.

According to information provided by the mayor, initially the municipal museum’s collection will be based on the Tophane-i Amire show titled “A Timeline of Beyoğlu: Toward a City Museum.”

“Our municipality building is under restoration, which includes the conversion of a historical vault into an exhibition hall. This hall will serve as the museum building in the first place, where we will move the exhibition at the Tophane-i Amire. In the long run, we are converting another historical building owned by our municipality, which is in the Sütlüce neighborhood. Our collection will diversify as the exhibition space enlarges,” Demircan said.

The museum is not immediately being established in the Sütlüce building because of the ongoing tunnel construction in the area.

“While we were working on increasing our collection we will need public donations on exhibition materials. Books, ephemera, documents, and anything of the sort are welcome,” he said.

The artistic directors and curators of the “A Timeline of Beyoğlu: Toward a City Museum” exhibition will be in charge of preparing the museum collection.

The municipality has other plans to celebrate the district’s 155th year, like a history and urbanism symposium which will bear the title of Sultan Beyazıd II, who is the founder of Beyoğlu. “The symposium will be in December to mark the anniversary of the great sultan’s death. MSGSÜ and the Galatasaray University are our collaborators.”

Istiklal Street repairs on the way

Demircan acknowledged that İstiklal Street needed to have its cobblestones repaired, but said the work would be done after infrastructure work is finished by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.
“Presently, waterworks are working on some underground leak source. When it is finished the street will be renewed,” Demircan said.