"istanbul 2010-european Capital Of Culture" To Be Launched On January 16,2010

Lizbon Büyükelçiliği 06.01.2010

As European Capital of Culture for 2010, Istanbul will launch the celebrations with a party on January 16, followed by a year of events in the visual arts and museums, music and theatre, literature, cinema, and traditional arts.


In preparation for 2010, extensive restoration work has been carried out on some of Istanbul’s most important historical sites and monuments.—The mosaics and hand-drawn decorations in several sections of Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) have been restored.—The kitchens of Topkapı Palace have been restored. They house the palace’s collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, the largest outside China and one of the richest such collections in the world.—Plans are in place to establish an icon museum at Ayairini (Hagia Irene), the church within the walls of Topkapi Palace. The museum would house a research, documentation and educational center and display Byzantine icons and mosaics.—The Architect Sinan Research Center and Architect Sinan Museum will be opened inside the Süleymaniye Mosque complex, which was originally designed by renowned Ottoman architect Sinan between 1550 and 1557. This research center and museum will increase international awareness of Turkish art and architecture and to insure that Sinan, the Ottoman Empire’s most talented and influential architect, takes his rightful place in the history of world art and architecture.—The Hasanpaşa Gasworks Cultural Center Project aims to transform an important part of Istanbul’s industrial legacy, which has been lying idle since 1993, into a cultural center. —An international competition will attempt to find a solution from architects around the world for the display of the remains of the port of Theodosius which were unearthed in Yenikapı during the building of the tunnel for the Marmaray Project which will link Europe and Asia under the Bosphorus strait. The Marmaray and Metro stations, which were designed independently of each other, need to be reassessed in order to display these exciting finds which have fundamentally changed what is known about the history of Istanbul.

Visual Arts

—Lives and Works in Istanbul will invite seven internationally acclaimed artists who have completed major visual art projects in the EU and influenced artistic movements there. The artists will hold workshops for the younger generation of local artists and work with them in a shared space. Over two years 100 local artists will participate in the project housed at a special arts centre in Yenikapı. Begun in December 2008 with a visit from Italian artist Remo Salvadori, it was followed by Antoni Muntadas (Spain) and Victor Burgin (UK). Other artists will include George Lappas (Greece), Sanja Ivekovic (Croatia), Peter Kogler (Austria) and Sophie Calle (France). Istanbul 2010 is also organising International Artists’ Exchanges between artists in Istanbul and Berlin, one of the goals of which is to produce an exhibition entitled Breaking the Stereotypes, which will tour European countries including Austria and Italy.—Portable Art will present contemporary art in an interactive manner throughout the city's residential districts and throughout 2010 in an attempt to ensure that the whole population can enjoy and participate in such works.—The Photograph Parade based at the Mısır apartment building on Istiklal Caddesi will host a whole year, from September 2009 to 2010, of exhibitions, talks, seminars and workshops for both adults and children.

—The exhibition Traditional Turkish Book Arts – Modern Masters will aim to reveal the work of past and modern masters from 1453 until the present working in such fields as calligraphy, ornamentation, marbled paper (ebru), miniatures, binding and cutting.


—The documentary Istanbul Goes to the Movies compiled by Safa Önal will show the city through almost 7000 films and images from the early days of Turkish film to the present day showing Istanbul's architecture, fashion and music. It will open the Istanbul Film Festival in April 2009.—Istanbul Crossroads Specials, three film nights in May-June 2010, will be run as part of Breaking the Stereotype which will look at the ways in which both the Orient and Occident have been stereotyped.

Performing Arts

—The Atatürk Cultural Centre, which houses Istanbul’s opera and ballet companies and the State Theatre Company, is considered one of the most important monuments of Turkey’s Republican era. It is being substantially renovated to transform the building into a dynamic, living performance centre in a project that will be the first in Turkey to restore a modern work of architecture.—The International Ballet Contest, the first round of which was held in 2008, will continue in 2010.—Building on the Istanbul Universities’ Theatre Festivals in 2008 & 2009, the European Universities Theater Festival will be held again in 2010. The goals of this international theatre festival are to nourish young theatre movements, to turn Istanbul into a destination for people involved in theatre and to strengthen communication between young people in the region.—Istanpoli, or ‘towards the city’, is a project hosted by avant-garde performing arts venue Garajistanbul. Foreign performance artists Michael Laub, Rimini Protokoll, Claude Wampler and Meg Stuart have been invited by local artists Mustafa Avkıran and Övül Avkıran, also art directors of Garajistanbul, to spend some time in Istanbul and translate their experiences into expression and comment. The resulting productions will be performed in Istanbul and then tour various European cities, the performances and related workshops being documented in a DVD and book.

—Held in various venues around the city will be the International Istanbul Puppet Festival, featuring modern and traditional puppet shows from many cultures alongside documentaries, workshops and a symposium. Distinguished groups will participate from France, Russian Federation, Hungary, Spain, Spain / Brazil co-production, Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy and Turkey.

—A dance and music production featuring the life of Kaptan-ı Derya Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha (Fleet Admiral of the Ottoman Navy) and the Mediterranean sailors of the 16th century, and also mankind's relationship with water in modern life and in history under the auspices of the Barbarossa Project will be staged in 2010. Featuring dancers of the Turkish State Opera and Ballet, there will also be choreography by Beyhan Murphy.


—Estonian composer Avro Part will compose a special piece for Istanbul entitled Adam’s Lament which will receive its premiere on 7 June 2010.

—A Story for the City, Constantinople, Istanbul will be an original music project on the theme of cross-cultural interactions between civilisations and the turning points which Istanbul has faced with European societies and their impact on today's Istanbul. US-based Professor Dr Robert Labaree will play the Ottoman-Turkish harp, the cheng, which he has rediscovered after its loss for 350 years. The event will also feature Schola Cantorum, Ensemble Trinitas and 35 artists from Ince Saz-Fasil-Anatolian Folk and arabesque troops.—Legendary rock band U2 will perform on the stage of the Istanbul Atatürk Stadium on 6 September 2010 as part of their 360º tour.

Museums & Exhibitions

—As part of the preservation strategy for the Sur-i Sultani (Sultan’s Walls), an area which includes Topkapı Palace, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Hagia Irene and Gülhane Park, on display in March/April 2010 will be the Sur-i Sultani Strategic Plan Exhibition.

Planned as a museum park which will open in 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, the open-air museum will tell the story of ‘One City and Three Worlds’ – Istanbul as the capital of the Ottoman, the Byzantine and the classical worlds.

—The Istanbul Islands Museum will be dedicated to the culture and history of the Princes’ Islands. The islands’ rich history encompasses both the Ottoman period and the Turkish Republic, having been shaped by the different communities — Turks, Greeks, Armenians and Jews — that have made the islands their home. The museum, which will be located in the former Büyükada Primary School, will include a library and archive.

—An exhibition, Istanbul 1910-2010, articulating Istanbul's building and architectural history between those years will be shown at Santral between April and October 2010.

—The Breaking the Stereotype 2010: From Orient and Occident to a Mutual Understanding of Images exhibition in May-June 2010 will be run as part of the larger project of the same name which will look at the ways in which both the Orient and Occident have been stereotyped.—The much-awaited Museum of Innocence, inspired by the novel of the same name by Nobel Prize-winning Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, will offer a poetic and documentary representation (through films, photos and other memorabilia) of the culture and daily life of Istanbul from the 1950s to the present. Opening in summer 2010 the museum will be located in Istanbul’s Çukurcuma neighborhoodan area which has preserved much of its traditional architecture from the turn of the 20th century.—Following interviews with individuals living in Athens, its vicinity and Thessaloniki, Longing for Istanbul will be presented as a book, documentary and exhibition during May-June 2010 projecting the longings and concerns of Greeks about Istanbul, the city they left many years ago.

Literature & Poetry

—Literary happenings include Istanbul’s third annual International Poetry Festival in May 2010 and the Istanbul Literature Map, a journey of discovery about writers who were born, grew up or worked in Istanbul. Research is being conducted into the houses formerly inhabited by Istanbul’s most important authors, some of which will be converted into museums. The information will be published in a special brochure in various languages with a map for literary-minded travellers to use when visiting the city.—The Breaking the Stereotype 2010 creative writing workshop in May-June 2010 will be run as part of the larger project of the same name which will look at the ways in which both the Orient and Occident have been stereotyped.

All of these projects aim to revive Istanbul’s cultural heritage, to reinforce the city’s cultural infrastructure to allow the largest participation possible.

For more information see the official Istanbul 2010 Web Site (http://www.en.istanbul2010.org).


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