There has long been talk about constructing a museum near the site of Troy, something that is sorely needed. There are very few artifacts to be seen at the site, and only a few in Canakkale Archeology Museum (which few tours visit), which leaves some of the most interesting things out of view of the visitor.
There also needs to be an attempt made to explain the importance of the site, both archeologically and in terms of global culture; a framework so that visitors can see past the piles of stones and visualise just how important this site is. A good guide helps, of course, but space is needed for those of us who want to learn at our own pace.
My solution is simple, we get the Irish OPW, famed for building interpretative centres in the 80’s and 90’s, in to do the job. You’ll get a brand new centre, museum, audio-visual room, bookshop/souvenir shop and the always necessary restaurant. The souvenirs will be tasteful, not the cheap tat available at the moment. You may even consider giving them as presents. The bookshop will be full of information not just about Troy, but about the local area and other sites in Turkey. The atmosphere will be friendly and helpful and the staff with be knowledgeable.
You may claim I’m looking for too much.
But the OPW built dozens of the things around Ireland, including the Ceide Fields visitor centre. The Ceide Fields are the earliest known evidence of farming in Ireland, a field system on the north coast of Mayo in the west of Ireland. There is a slight drawback to visiting them. They are covered in bog, marked out with bamboo poles.
It doesn’t sound exciting, now does it?
But if you’re ever in the area I encourage you to visit because the centre there explains the importance of the site, puts it in context and leaves you racing out to see the bamboo poles. There’s also spectacular cliffs across the road, and a great view from the top of the centre.
This is how it should be done…
So you can imagine that I’m happy to hear that a plan has been selected for a museum near the entrance gate at Troy. The plan was selected from a competition and the winning entry is by a team led by Selcuk Baz, picked by a selection of archeologists, town planners, Ministry of Tourism officials, and architects (among others).
I don’t know what the new plan looks like but if you’re in Ankara between now and June 6th the top entries are on show in the Ataturk Cultural Centre. There’ll be a colloquium held on the 6th of June at 6pm.