The Troy Museum, located at the entrance of the ancient city of Troy in northwestern Turkey’s Çanakkale province, will offer its visitors an opportunity to watch restoration and conservation work live as part of a new project. The Restoration and Conservation Laboratory of the museum will be open between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday, and visitors will be able to watch the restoration and conservation processes of historical artifacts in real time.
Opened in 2018, the museum is a 12,750-square-meter (137,240-square-foot) indoor space with a large garden where historical artifacts unearthed during the excavations of the ancient city of Troy are on display. As one of the world's most important museums of contemporary archaeology, the museum made it to the European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) 2020 finals, the results of which will be announced in May. The entrance ramp of the museum provides information about archaeology, dating methods, restoration, conservation and more. Spanning four floors along with a terrace, the museum’s ground floor introduces the city of Troas, the historical name of the Biga Peninsula. The second floor sheds light on the Bronze Age of Troy, while the third floor covers the period from the Archaic Age to the Eastern Roman Empire. The fourth floor of the museum shows the importance of Anatolian beyliks (small principalities governed by "beys" or lords) and Ottoman settlements in the lands of Troy.
While the different floors of the Troy Museum depict the history of the ancient city at different periods in history through artifacts, what visitors see is actually just the tip of the iceberg, according to museum director Rıdvan Gölcük.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Gölcük said that they would like to show visitors the process the artifacts undergo before being put on display. “How can one integrate a pot divided into dozens of parts? How can one remove the salt on an artifact extracted from the sea? How can one bring ambient conditions to an ideal level? How is the photographic and written documentation of an artifact done? The visitors will now learn the answers to all of these questions with our new project,” he added.
Visitors interested in learning about the restoration and conservation process will be guided around the museum by an officer, and they will be able to direct their questions about the artifacts and practices to the restorers.
“Our museum has three restoration and conservation laboratories where all artifacts from excavations in this area are processed," Gölcük further explained. "While our four conservators do their work, we want to show our visitors in what condition artifacts come out of the ground, what operations they go through, how these artifacts can survive and how we carry them into the future. We know our visitors are curious about it.”