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Turkish museum up for annual European award

The Kaman Kalehöyük Archaeology Museum in the Central Anatolian province of Kırşehir opened to wide acclaim in 2010 thanks to a dynamic Turkish-Japanese partnership and is now eyeing continental awards for excellence, according to its manager.

The archaeology museum aids in the preservation of artifacts found in excavations in nearby Cappadocia as part of a joint Japanese-Turkish endeavor sponsored by UNESCO [Credit: Hurriyet]
“So far, a number of visitors have come to Kırşehir just to see this museum,” Manager Adnan Güçlü recently told Anatolia news agency, adding that the museum had many unique features. “This museum also has a beautiful Japanese garden. Now, it will compete to be named the best museum in Europe.”

Noting that the Kaman Kalehöyük Archeology Museum was developing very fast, Güçlü said the venue was hoping to be named museum of the year for 2012 in Europe. “I think we are going to receive this award.”

The museum contains finds from local excavations dating back to 23 B.C. during the Old Bronze Age, the manager said.

The museum is a product of Turkish-Japanese friendship, Güçlü said, adding that its opening was made possible by a Japanese cultural grant and opened to the public in July 2010.

'Best Green Museum' award

Last year, the museum also received “The Best Green Museum” award. The opening ceremony was attended by His Imperial Highness Prince Tomohito, honorary president of the Japan Year 2010 in Turkey, Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko, as well as Ertuğrul Günay, Turkey’s culture and tourism minister.

The museum will also aid in the preservation of artifacts found in excavations in nearby Cappadocia as part of a joint Japanese-Turkish endeavor sponsored by UNESCO’s Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the Preservation of World Cultural Heritage. The project is expected to further strengthen the countries’ bilateral ties and increase scientific exchanges.

The first excavation works began in the Kaman area in 1986 thanks to Japanese scholar Sachihiro Omura and a Turkish collaborator. With the wealth of artifacts uncovered at Kaman, the need for a museum soon emerged; Turkish representatives applied to the Japanese government and requested financial help.

The representatives and Günay met in the area in April 2008 at the groundbreaking ceremony; the museum’s actual opening ceremony took place during the 2010 Japan Year in Turkey.

During the opening ceremony Japanese Prince Tomohito, who is also the honorary president of the excavation team at Kalehöyük, said the museum hosted the thousand-year-old history of Kalehöyük. Prince Mikasa and Günay also presented commemorative plaques to the team and to the representatives. “I was deeply touched. I have been here since the works began. We have been trying to arrange all the works,” said Günay at the time.

This museum, which also features laboratories and seminar halls, cost just under 10 million Turkish Liras to construct.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [August 04, 2011]

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