Osman Hamdi Bey Museum closed to tourism

Osman Hamdi Bey Museum closed to tourism

MUĞLA - Doğan News Agency
Osman Hamdi Bey Museum closed to tourism

DHA Photos

The mansion where archaeologist, painter and Turkey’s first museum pioneer Osman Hamdi Bey lived for some time in the Aegean province of Muğla’s Yatağan district is closed, drawing reaction from locals. 

Osman Hamdi Bey, who initiated the first ancient excavations in western Anatolia, stayed in the 120-year-old mansion while excavation work was conducted in the ancient city of Lagina in the 1890s. The mansion was converted into a museum by the Muğla Governor’s Office at a cost of 650,000 Turkish Liras. After Muğla became a metropolis, the Osman Hamdi Bey Mansion was handed over to the Metropolitan Municipality by the Governor’s Office

A retired teacher in the neighborhood, Erol Çelik, said it was the only mansion where people could go with their family and rest in the garden. 

“Tourists, who see the Osman Hamdi Bey Museum signboard in the intersection of Yatağan-Bodrum-Turgut road, go to Turgut. But when they arrive in the museum, they see that the museum and the park there are closed. I harshly condemn this attitude of the municipality,” he said.

Çelik called for Governor Amir Çiçek to come to the Osman Hamdi Bey Museum and see its heartbreaking condition. “The garden is covered with dry grass and trees because of the lack of water. If there is a fire, the wooden museum will burn down. The Governor’s Office should do something to open the park and the museum,” he said.

Speaking to the Doğan News Agency on the phone, Muğla Mayor Consultant Yavuz Kayı said, “Since nobody comes here in winter, we open the museum in the tourism season. It will be open soon.” 

Osman Hamdi Bey Museum closed to tourism

Osman Hamdi Bey 

Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910) was the first representative of figurative painting in Turkey. He was also a leader in the Westernization movement in Turkish culture and arts at the turn of the century. During the 1870s he worked on several assignments for the Ottoman state and on Sept. 11, 1881, he was named director of the Imperial Museum.

In the last decades of his life, he put his efforts into improving the museum and also concentrating on his activities as a painter. He lived in his family’s mansion in the village of Eskihisar, near Gebze, a district of Istanbul. 

He also made frequent excursions - highly beneficial for inspiration, as reflected in his paintings - to another mansion he built during the Lagina excavations in the town of Turgut in Muğla.

His paintings, in which he wisely and skillfully employed Oriental elements, have since been included in many private and public collections in Turkey and abroad.

Osman Hamdi Bey Museum closed to tourism