Hatay museum set to take title of world's largest mosaic collection
HATAY - Anadolu Agency
Currently, the world’s largest mosaic museum is the Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep. AA PhotoThe Archaeological Museum in Hatay, one of Turkey’s most religiously diverse provinces, will soon boast the world’s largest mosaic collection, following restorations to the building.
“This is a special museum in terms of such features. Half of the museum is currently open. Nearly 400 square meters of mosaics are on display, most of which are being seen for the first time,” said Hatay Archaeology Museum's official restorer, Celaleddin Küçük.
When complete, the museum will display the largest number of mosaics in the world, covering an area of 3,400 square meters, Küçük added.
Zeugma is the largest
Currently, the world’s largest mosaic museum is the Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep, which holds mosaics covering an area of 2,462 square meters. The Zeugma Museum is especially noteworthy for featuring a mosaic of the “Gypsy Girl,” which is frequently used in promotional material for Turkey.
Küçük said the Hatay Archaeology Museum has attracted considerable interest since some of its sections were reopened.
“Artifacts in the museum are displayed in chronological order starting from 42,000 years ago until the 20th century. There are also small mockups of the Üçağız Inn and the Tell Kurdu, Tell Tayinat and Tell Aççana mounds. Visitors are able to see all eras inside a time tunnel. Finally they reach the 20th century. Here people are able to go inside the artifacts, touch them and feel like they are a part of the artifact,” he said.
A unique 1.5-meter statue of Hittite emperor Suppiluliuma is also on display at the museum. The statue, which was found at Tell Tayinat Mound in 2012 during excavations led by Toronto University Professor Timothy Harrison, holds a spike in one hand and a lance in the other. The statue with a beard, long hair and bracelets is one of the most prominent promotional symbols of Hatay.