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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hospital Heals Old Artifacts


AA photo
As Turkey’s capital, Ankara is already home to some of the country’s best hospitals. For those tasked with protecting Turkey’s heritage, however, one stands out from the others: the restoration and conservation atelier at the Ankara Museum of Foundational Works – an “old artifact hospital.”

This place is for “the healing of old artifacts,” said Özlem Erdem, one of the specialists that helps restore old artifacts from around the country. “We heal manuscripts from Turkey and even Turkish Cyprus, as well as carpets, kilims and wood artifacts and [artifacts] that are returned to the country after being smuggled abroad.”

Ultimately, the atelier helps clean and preserve Turkey’s ancient heritage for subsequent generations.
Artifacts in the atelier are first documented and photographed before being strengthened according to need, Erdem said. “We complete the work with proper materials and methods and prepare them for exhibition.”

The restoration specialist said many important artifacts from Kütahya, Antalya, Cyprus, Sivas, İzmir, Gaziantep and Kastamonu were undergoing restoration in the atelier, adding that the wood carving works of the Diviriği Ulu Mosque, which is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, were restored at the atelier.

Erdem is one of the restorers, along with Derya Şan and Ceyda Cüceloğlu.

Foundations Ankara Regional Director Aslan Yıldız said they were proud of having such an atelier to keep historical artifacts alive.

“We can restore all types of historical products here. In this way, we make a big contribution to the budget of the General Directorate of Foundations. We don’t procure services from anywhere else; we restore everything in our own atelier,” Yıldız said.

Yıldız said the establishment of a wider atelier was very important for Turkey because the country is very rich in terms of historic artifacts.

He also said the atelier had acquired a new washing tube for carpets and kilims that can be converted into a desk.

The Ankara Museum of Foundations Works features various examples of carpets collected from all around the country, as well as many other historical pieces. The museum building served as a law school from 1928 to 1941. In 2004, the building was restored to serve as a museum.

Paintings restored in Istanbul lab

Earlier this year in March, Türkiye İş Bankası opened the first painting conservation and restoration laboratory in Turkey as part of Mimar Sinan University with the aim of both supporting art and painting and conserving the country’s cultural heritage.

While the laboratory serves as a scientific base for the conservation and restoration of paintings, it is also becoming a base to raise professional restorers, according to cultural officials.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

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