Rarest mechanical clocks at Topkapı Palace damaged

Rarest mechanical clocks at Topkapı Palace damaged

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Rarest mechanical clocks at Topkapı Palace damaged

Topkapı Palace displays 250 years old clocks. DHA photo

Two historical clocks in Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace’s rare mechanical clock collection were damaged when they fell from their display perch June 2, daily Radikal reported. One of the 250-year-old clocks suffered irreparable damage while the second sustained only minor damage after the chains that held the clocks in place broke.

A report on the circumstances surrounding the incident, prepared by museum representatives for the Tourism and Culture Ministry, revealed that the chains used were not in good condition and unable to properly secure the clocks in place. The report went on to say that the more heavily damaged clock would be impossible to repair.

“This is a very sad incident. The exhibition was prepared meticulously. Both of them were 250-year-old clocks with bird cages. One of them is damaged very badly and the other one is in better condition,” said Topkapı Palace Museum president İlber Ortyalı. “One of them will be fixed. We sent both of them to clock masters. The other one, which was damaged [very] badly, will also be fixed but [to what extent] we are not sure.”Serkan Gedik, who is responsible for the exhibition, had earlier warned the appropriate museum personnel that the chains were not safe to support the heavy clocks, daily Radikal reported. However, Salman Ünlügedik, manager of the monuments, said the chains are very secure, that they could even support him, according to Radikal. The ministry is expected to start an investigation on the subject, Radikal reported.

Rarest clocks

Topkapı Palace is currently home to one of the world’s rarest mechanical clock collections. The palace now displays its 380-piece collection of clocks, all of which were produced in a period of 400 years, in a permanent exhibition titled “Topkapı Palace Clock Section.” The exhibit also includes works by Turkish clock masters. The permanent exhibition opened late last week in the palace’s Divit Room with 380 clocks on display, most of which were kept closed doors.