In 2020, Turkish museums and archaeological sites still racked in more than 8.91 million visitors, despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing chaos for the tourism sector worldwide. The important role of the sites sees the cultural heritage protected, allowing for future generations to see and enjoy, as well as generating a collective memory archive.
Increasing Turkey’s cultural history
Under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, who also provided the data, a total of 204 museums, 143 archaeological sites, and 296 private museums were able to host history enthusiasts.
Within the 204 public museums, more than 3.25 million historical artefacts, and on average, 40,000 artefacts have been added to the collections each year. 11,632 cultural assets have been put into conservation.
The authorities have conducted a number of maintenance checks including renovations, landscaping, labelling, and exhibition arrangements in order to prepare museums for the tourism season in 2021 and help to better serve local and international tourists.
More museum openings
Between 2002 and 2020, 161 museums have been renovated as part of the initiative to increase the number of museums in Turkey. In addition, 43 were opened with international recognition. In addition to this, a further 16 brand new museums are now open and welcoming visitors; this includes museums in Adana, Usak, Mersin, and Van provinces.
Museum inauguration untouched by pandemic
Turkey hosts several private museums, which are home to archaeological finds, ethnography, and fine art works. An increasing amount have opened up in recent years; as of April 2021, there are 296 private museums across Turkey, and 1,586 collector museums. Within the past year, 26 private museums have opened up in Turkey, the highest ever recorded figure, despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing problems across the globe.
Dealing with the pandemic
In response to the global pandemic, on March 25, 2020, www.sanalmuze.gov.tr posted 3D models of the museums and archaeological sites online; a total of 12,529,246 people visited these virtual museums. Included within these virtual museums were the Museum Troy, Ephesus, Anatolian Museum, Gobeklitepe, and the Museum of Independence.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s part
Nadir Alpaslan, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, explained that museums are places to help individuals learn more about the past and allow exploration into historical periods of the past.
Alpaslan stressed the lengths that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism was working towards in order to bring about higher standards within it’s museums and explained that Turkey was home to a number of culturally unique assets which the ministry was working to protect, preserve, and advertise.
Furthermore Alpaslan said that a “visitor administration plan” was prepared by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as part of the COVID-19 outbreak plans, and social distancing had now been adopted in the museums, as well as strict hygiene measures to allow visitors a level of protection.
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