Published on : Thursday, April 22, 2021
The Turkish museums and archaeological sites were still visited by more than 8.91 million people in 2020, even as the coronavirus outbreak was wreaking chaos on the tourism industry worldwide. The sites play an important role in protecting cultural heritage, transferring it to future generations and generating a collective memory.
A total of 204 museums, 142 archaeological sites and 296 private museums hosted history aficionados under the auspices of Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which provided the data. There are more than 3.25 million historical artifacts are exhibited in the 204 museums.
An average of 40,000 artifacts have been added to the collections of the museums each year and 11,632 movable cultural assets were put into conservation.
To prepare museums for the 2021 tourism season and better serve local and international tourists, the relevant authorities have conducted a variety of maintenance activities such as renovations, landscaping, labeling and exhibition arrangements.
As part of efforts to increase the number of museums in Turkey, 161 museums were renovated between 2002-2020 and 43 with international recognition were opened. In addition, 16 newly built museums – including in Adana, Uşak, Kayseri, Mersin and Van provinces – are now welcoming visitors.
Turkey hosts several private museums displaying archaeology, ethnography and fine arts, and more and more have been opened in recent years. There are 296 private museums as of April 2021 and collectors’ museums stand at 1,586.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has led to troubles around the world, 26 private museums were opened in the past year, the highest figure ever recorded in Turkey. The museums and archaeological sites hosted more than 35 million local and foreign tourists in 2019 whereas nearly 9 million people visited in 2020 despite the pandemic.