Renovation of iconic center begins

Renovation of iconic center begins

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Renovation of iconic center begins

Minister Günay (L) and director of the Sabancı Foundation Paçacıoğlu (R). DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Restoration work began at the historic Atatürk Culture Center (AKM) located in Istanbul’s Taksim Square yesterday. The center will return to the service of art lovers 540 days later, in October 2013, on the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay said.
The budget for the renovation project is 69 million Turkish Liras, and Sabancı Holding is supporting the project with a 30 million-lira fund, Günay said.

“The heating and cooling, lighting and sound systems will be restructured. We will finally have attain art culture befitting Istanbul. Actually Izmir, Ankara and all the other cities are in need of cultural centers like this, because every year Turkey hosts 30 million tourists,” Günay said.

The new center will be open to its guests 24 hours a day, every day of the week, Günay said.
The center will be one of the most remarkable cultural centers in Europe when it’s completed, said Hüsnü Paçacıoğlu, director-general of the Sabancı Foundation.

The center’s name will remain AKM, but a concert hall will be dedicated to the late businessman Sakıp Sabancı and named the Sabancı Opera Hall, Günay said.

Yeni Yapı and Taca construction firms will be cooperating on the project. The AKM will be renovated in a way that is faithful to its original form; only infrastructural changes are being considered. The need for anti-earthquake reinforcement is one of the most important reasons for the renovation project, Günay said.