Museums host nearly 9 million visitors in 2020 despite pandemic
With an abundance of historical monuments, buildings and museums, Turkey has been a paradise for art enthusiasts, where over 8.91 million people visited in 2020 to witness the beauty of its museums and archaeological sites with their naked eye.
These sites have a significant role in terms of protecting cultural heritage, transferring it to future generations and generating a collective memory.
A total of 204 museums, 142 archaeological sites and 296 private museums hosted history aficionados under the auspices of Turkish Culture and Tourism, which provided the data.
The number of museums has been increasing, and more than 3.25 million historical artifacts have been exhibited in 204 museums.
An average of 40,000 artifacts has been added to the collections of museums each year. Furthermore, 11,632 movable cultural assets were put into conservation.
To prepare museums for the 2021 tourism season, serve local and international tourists in a better fashion in line with contemporary museum understanding, relevant authorities have conducted a variety of maintenance activities such as renovations, landscaping, labeling and other exhibition arrangements.
As part of efforts to increase the number of museums in Turkey, 161 museums were renovated between 2002 and 2020, while 43 museums with international recognition were opened.
Besides, 16 newly built museums, including museums in Adana, Uşak, Kayseri, Mersin and Van provinces, now welcome visitors.
Outbreak not slowing museum inauguration
Turkey hosts several private museums operating in archaeology, ethnography and fine arts, and more and more have been opened in recent years. There are 296 private museums as of April 2021, while collectors’ museums stand at 1,586.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has led to troubles around the world, 26 private museums were opened in the previous year, the highest figure ever recorded in Turkey.
Museums and archaeological sites hosted more than 35 million local and foreign tourists in 2019, whereas nearly 9 million people visited in 2020 despite the pandemic.
On March 25, 2020, 3D models of museums and archaeological sites were exhibited online free of charge via ww.sanalmuze.gov.tr, and 12,529,246 people visited virtual museums.
Among the virtual museums are the Troy Museum, the War of Independence Museum, the Ephesus Archaeological Museum, the Anatolian Civilizations Museum, as well as the virtual display of the Göbeklitepe ancient site.
Nadir Alpaslan, deputy minister of culture and tourism, said museums were places where science, art products along with underground riches are exhibited, shedding light on historical periods and helping individuals learn more about the past.
Stressing that the Culture and Tourism Ministry worked to bring Turkish museums to higher standards, Alpaslan said Turkey was home to unique cultural assets, and the ministry was doing its best to protect, preserve and advertise its elements.
He noted that a “visitor administration plan” was prepared by the ministry as part of coronavirus outbreak measures, and social distancing was adopted at museums while hygiene measures were strictly followed.