New diorama museum to open doors soon

New diorama museum to open doors soon

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
New diorama museum to open doors soon

The details of models and dioramas in the Hisart Living History and Diorama Museum were created by Nejat Çuhadaroğlu himself. The museum will open on June 1. AA photo

The Hisart Living History and Diorama Museum, organized by businessman Nejat Çuhadaroğlu, will open to visitors on June 1 with a treasure trove of historical artifacts and items that bring the past to life.

“I have worked for many years to make this museum a reality. Now I am proud that all the efforts did not go for nothing. I hope our visitors will share my pride,” Çuhadaroğlu said at a press conference on May 27.

A unique museum in the world, the Hisart Living History and Diorama Museum was established in a building in Istanbul’s Çağlayan neighborhood.

Çuhadaroğlu’s interest in making paintings, sculptures and models began in childhood before becoming a professional hobby through the years. The businessman subsequently began making 3D models (dioramas) related to historical events and wars. Also working for the restoration and reproduction of historical objects and clothes, Çuhadaroğlu decided to establish a museum with the models he created and the antiques he collected.

Now, the museum is home to the world’s largest diorama collection thanks to his 30 years of labor in making models as well as 25 years of collecting.

The six-story museum, covering a display area of 1,500 square meters, was established at a cost of $25 million.

Military and ethnographic objects related to many civilizations and events that led to the formation of world history, such as the Ottoman Empire, the War of Independence, World War I and II and the Gulf War, are on display at the museum. The objects show the technological development of military materials used in wars and also shed light on sociological, economic and cultural developments, as well as the bitter face of war.

The details of models and dioramas in the museum were created by Çuhadaroğlu himself. The dioramas are not only limited to historical events or people, as many dioramas about the Vikings, Native Americans, the heroes of fantasy worlds such as Indiana Jones and pirates are presented in the museum, as are unique works and special accessories. Among them are swords, axes, maces with the seal of the Anatolian Seljuk State, an 18th-century Turkish machete that is the only one of its kind, a sword with the signature of Yıldırım Bayezid, helmets and Ottoman military equipment.

The museum also displays dresses worn by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in three different wars, and Enver Paşa’s uniforms, provided by his grandchildren. An example of magic shirts, which are decorated with the verses of the Quran and were worn by significant people in the Ottoman Empire, and the oldest flag of Turkish football team Fenerbahçe are among the other interesting items in the museum.

“Visitors to the museum will be able to see dioramas in different sizes and life-size models as well as paintings, gravures, photos, attire of various eras and military equipment all together. They will have the chance to examine historical events in all their dimensions,” he said.

He said his purpose was to make history a pleasant hobby and orient young generations toward the field, adding that the museum did not highlight a certain issue or era, something that made the museum different than the others.

“This is a museum with no boundaries. While visiting the museum, you can see a unique work from the Seljuk State and an object used in World War II. We wanted to form a museum for everyone interested in arts and history. Hisart aims to increase interest in history. It is the first and only of its kind and will contribute to cultural heritage,” he said.

The price of admission is 20 Turkish Liras for adults, 15 liras per person for groups, 10 liras for those that qualify for a discount. Children below the age of 14, citizens with disabilities and their companions and war veterans can visit the museum for free.