Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı has said that the ongoing restoration and renovation projects at the Topkapı Palace Museum will be the most extensive in the palace's history.
Avcı, speaking to the culture and arts editors of various newspapers, said the 24 current projects, which include extensive restoration, conservation, display and adjustments, will cost more than TL 220 million ($59 million) in total.
Currently, restoration works were ongoing at the Seferli Ward, the Fatih Mansion, the Kilerli Ward, Ahmet III's Library, Harem 1-2-3, the Beşirağa Mosque, Matbah-ı Amire Ward, Gülhane hospitals, military warehouses and the retaining walls and Sur-ı Sultani.
All palace structures were being prepared under integrated projects. A security system is also being set up and landscaping works were being performed in the backyards and gardens.
Topkapı Palace was attached to the Istanbul Asar-ı Atika Museum Directorate after being turned into a museum with the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on April 3, 1924. After minor repairs, it was opened the same year.
The TL 60,000 grant provided from 1923 to 1939, allowed for the repairs of broken glass and frames in the Harem, as well as treatment of lead and roof repairs.
With a grant of TL 1 million, provided between 1940 and 1944, major repairs were made in various parts of the palace. As of 1961, the focus shifted to the archives and warehouses, including the engravings warehouse.
To preserve books in the palace library as well as royal clothing, fabrics and devices, humidity-control systems were installed in some of the sections.
A binding repair workshop, mother-of-pearl repair workshop and a carpenter's shop was also established.
Renovations also took place at the exhibition halls, and new exhibition halls, namely the "Sacred Works," "Clocks" and "Engravings" were established.
Some parts of the Harem, which were repaired over a period of almost 12 years, were opened to the public in 1971.
Sections including the supply room, the treasury, miniatures; royal portraits and sultanate vehicles, were opened to visit a year later in 1972. Restoration and arrangement works have continued as yet, in line with the requirements and possibilities at hand.
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