Exhibition on history of Istanbul now online
Istanbul’s Sabancı University’s Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM) continues to share rich content from its comprehensive selection of past exhibitions on its digital media channel, one of which is 2010’s “From Byzantion to Istanbul: 8,000 Years of A Capital.”
The exhibition presents the peerless history of Istanbul from its founding until today with over 500 works, some of which are the discoveries from the Yenikapı excavation conducted as part of the underwater metro tunnel Marmaray Project, which goes back to 8000 years. It sheds light on the glorious history of a city that has served as the capital city for the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires from Byzantion to New Rome, from Constantinople to Istanbul, and it brings together treasures scattered among various countries through trade, gifts and historic events such as the looting of the fourth Crusade.
The exhibition is hosting selected works from leading institutions in England, Germany, France, Italy, the Vatican, Hungary, Greece, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Qatar, Portugal and Russia. It also includes works selected from state museums, private museums and collections in Turkey and brings together, for the first time, a range of different pieces chosen from a total of 58 museums, 39 of which are located abroad and 19 in Turkey.
The exhibition tells the story of Istanbul’s transformation from a Roman garrison to the capital of the empire after the separation of Rome into East and West, the stages of growth, stagnation and collapse experienced during the Byzantine Empire. It shows its rebirth after being conquered by the Ottomans in 1453 while presenting the times of upheaval and the golden eras in the history of this capital of the empire, which in a sense is woven into the tapestry of European history. The rich tradition created by the diverse religious heritage of the city is being presented.
Video interviews with Sakıp Sabancı Museum Director Nazan Ölçer, the editor of the Byzantine part of the exhibition, Associate Professor Koray Durak, Professor Mehmet Özdoğan and Professor Brigitte Pitarakis, who contributed to the exhibition, are also available within the scope of the online exhibition.
The online exhibition also includes works to introduce the wealth of Istanbul to children. In the online workshops prepared in connection with the exhibition, children will get to play games to explore the multilayered structure of the city.
The workshop titled “The Talismans of Istanbul” offers a fairy-tale narrative on the basis of the buildings in the city. Another titled “Istanbul’s Treasures” provides the opportunity to explore the natural and cultural features of the city through symbols.
Prepared with DigitalSSM archive resources, the exhibition is accessible from the SSM website, social media accounts and YouTube channel.
The products designed with inspiration from the exhibition were also put on sale at SSM’s online store.