Caves of Gaziantep become a museum

Caves of Gaziantep become a museum

GAZIANTEP - Anatolia News Agency
Caves of Gaziantep become a museum

The caves, which are situated at the Western entrance of the city, were used as barns during the animal trade of the 1970’s. The caves will turn into a 10,000-square-meter museum depicting eras before and after Christ to the Ottoman period. AA photo

The caves of Gaziantep, spread over 10,000 square meters of land in the Çıksorut district and formerly used as a barn and storage area for kettles, will be turned into a history museum.
Speaking to Anatolia news agency, Gaziantep Mayor Asım Güzelbey said the caves, which are situated at the Western entrance of the city, were used as barns during the animal trade of the 1970’s.

After the city developed and expanded, the animal trade lost its attraction and barns were relocated to outer parts of the city. “The image and the view of the city was very bad. Moreover, the barns have been a threat to human health. We got rid of the barns and built houses on their location.”

Noting that they always wanted to recreate and restore the caves and use them as a cultural center, Güzelbey said: “When we entered the caves, we saw that they were all connected to each other. They have transitions between them in the 10,000-square-meter area. Our team will be going to France to see the history museum and later on we will start the project.”

“We will also be looking at whether the caves are strong. If there is doubt we will do some strengthening work,” he said. In the event of additional strengthening measures, the work will begin in 2014, Güzelbey said, adding that the museum will spread to a very large area. “We will record every detail of the process,” he added.

The museum will have many different parts, featuring such eras as the Stone Age, Paleolithic Age and Neolithic Age. “The museum will also span from the era before and after Christ to Ottoman Empire times,” said Güzelbey.

“We will build an artificial lake in the middle and we aim to ferry people across this lake while they are wandering in the museum,” he said.

Museums of Gaziantep

Güzelbey added that they place significant importance on the culture in Gaziantep. More than 20 museums have been built in the city and four are in the works.

The city also readies to open its new Toy Museum. It will be a more-developed version of the Toy Museum found in Istanbul’s Göztepe district. The Gaziantep Toy Museum will not only exhibit old toys but will also exhibit how the development of civilization is reflected through toys. It will include a rich collection of rag dolls and wooden toys that will be used to tell the history of Turkey, as well as host events for kids to help them develop their imaginations.

The Bath Museum will exhibit Turkish bathing culture through displays of Turkish baths. Güzelbey said they plan to transform an ancient Turkish bath into the museum.