Museum in central Turkey dedicated to ‘Little Prince’
The Little Prince Book Museum, which is home to 2,000 editions of one of the world’s most beloved novels, “Little Prince” in 400 different languages, is waiting for its visitors in the central Anatolian province of Eskişehir.
Ali Lidar, a philosophy teacher at the Eskişehir Anatolian High School, who is a fan of the fairy-tale type book written by the French writer and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery in 1943, started to collect this work.
Having exhibited his “Little Prince” books at various fairs, Lidar later came up with the idea of establishing a museum with his books in the building, which was used as housing by the school administration.
As a result of nearly a year of work, the Little Prince Book Museum was created in the Eskişehir Anatolian High School with 2,000 “Little Prince” books in 400 different languages.
The visitors of the museum, the official opening of which cannot be made due to the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak but where a limited number of visitors can be taken, can also take a photo with the “Little Prince” in a specially prepared section.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Lidar said that the book, which has been translated into 420 languages, is always popular in Turkey.
Stating that he is a fan of the book “The Little Prince,” Lidar said, “I have been collecting the ‘Little Prince’ books for many years. My students and friends sent ‘Little Prince’ books from the places they have been to. I have provided many of them myself. Together with Mehmet Sobacı and Yıldıray Lise, who are collecting ‘Little Prince’ books like me, we had an idea of opening a museum. We were opening some exhibitions but we wanted to create a permanent place and that people can visit constantly. I had the chance to work as a teacher at Eskişehir Anatolian High School and to have this building in the school. With the help of our Provincial Director of National Education, Hakan Cırıt and our school principal, Rıfat Günday, we started preparations for the Little Prince Museum and created this place.”
Lidar said that the museum is home to 2,000 editions of “The Little Prince” books in 400 languages and the ones printed by over 200 publishing houses in Turkey.
“The book written in Braille alphabet is also in our museum. We also host the world’s smallest Little Prince book. We have books in Göktürk, Aztec and Mayan languages and books with hieroglyphics. We also have the Little Prince book in Bambara, spoken by a local tribe in Mali.”
Explaining his desire to send messages to children as a teacher, Lidar said, “It is necessary to tell children that so many languages are spoken in many parts of the world. This will also improve the awareness of brotherhood in children. It will show that the world is not as big as it is supposed. People who speak different languages in different geographies can live in peace. This library is a living proof of this. ‘The Little Prince’ tells the story of a child who has beautiful stories and gives universal messages to people. Books of all countries are side by side here.”
Rıfat Günday, Director of Eskişehir Anatolian High School, emphasized that they have built a place where children can enjoy and learn about museums by remodeling the building served as a housing in the school with the idea of “Little Prince Book Museum.”