Painter calls to protect giant Atatürk portrait
Painter Mustafa Aydemir has called authorities to preserve the giant portrait of Atatürk, which he painted on Mount Esence in the eastern province of Erzincan with 3,000 volunteer soldiers, as it has deteriorated over the years.
Stating that the portrait, which was damaged by the sun, earthquakes and floods, was also attacked, Aydemir said the military removed the protection on the portrait in 2016.
“Once the protection was lifted, they attacked the portrait and ripped the thousand-ton stones making up the portrait and rolled them from the mountain,” he said.
“I made a temporary repair at the request of the governor’s office in 2017, but it needs to be passed on to future generations with a permanent solution,” Aydemir said, adding that mowing the grass and pouring paint on it does not provide adequate protection.
Saying that the portrait made with temporary paint on the soil faded and the weeds on it increased despite all efforts and promises made to prevent it, Aydemir called on the authorities to save the work, which was made without spending any money.
The 7,565-square-meter portrait, which was painted with complex angle adjustments in 30 days under the leadership of Aydemir in 1982, was selected as one of the 100 most extraordinary works of art in the world by the Washington Smithsonian Museum in 2009.
In the construction of the work, natural stones collected from the mountains, motor oils and factory waste chemicals were used.