Turkish museum wins Council of Europe award!

Baksi Museum in the eastern Anatolian city of Bayburt has won the Council of Europe (COE) Museum Prize, COE Parliamentary Assembly has announced via its website.

Turkish museum wins Council of Europe award!

Baksi Museum in the eastern Anatolian city of Bayburt has won the Council of Europe (COE) Museum Prize, COE Parliamentary Assembly has announced via its website.

The award is the latest and the most prestigious token of recognition that the museum, which offers contemporary art and traditional handicrafts side by side, has received since its founding in 2010.

“This museum, its governance and the activities associated with it, provide a very inspiring model of how the principles of the Council of Europe Faro Convention on the value of cultural heritage for society can be adopted to fit locally,” the COE PA website quotes Museum Prize rapporteur Vesna Marjanovic as saying.

The museum’s founder and curator, Professor Husamettin Kocan, declined to comment on the win – because the museum has yet to receive an official notice – but said he thinks the best is yet to come for Baksi.

“2014 will be a year of great strides for us, having prepared fully for it in every aspect,” Kocan said. “We have high expectations.”

The museum, located in the Bayraktar village 45 km from the city center, brings together a high-quality contemporary art collection made up of works by leading artists, alongside a collection of folk paintings and original examples of local handicrafts.

A decade-long dream, it became a reality three years ago almost as a social project with the contribution of many volunteers, especially artists, without the financial backing of the government.

Kocan thinks, however, that this need not necessarily be the case going forward.

“We have demands from local administrators,” he said. “There should be bus tours from the city center to the village of Bayraktar. All of our visitors want that.”

“We will have high touristic activity here from the next year onwards,” Kocan said. “If the local administration takes necessary steps to clear the road for us, Baksi will thrive as a project of real value for Bayburt and the region.”

The COE Museum Prize has been awarded annually since 1977 to a museum judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding of European cultural heritage.

The winning museum is presented with a bronze statuette, “La femme aux beaux seins” by Joan Miró, which the museum will keep for a year, as well as a diploma.

Baksi Museum and Professor Kocan have received several local awards, including 2010 recognition from international art fair Contemporary Istanbul.

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