Newly renovated Aphrodisias Museum opens to the public

Newly renovated Aphrodisias Museum opens to the public

Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay (in white shirt) was among the officials to attend the reopening of the Aphrodisias Museum in the Aydın province.

October 26, 2009, Monday/ 15:45:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
The Aphrodisias Museum, located in the town of Geyre in Aydın's Karacasu district, was reopened this weekend.Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay, Aydın Governor Hüseyin Avni Coş, the museum's architect, Cengiz Bektaş, Geyre Foundation President Ömer Koç, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies Ahmet Ertürk and Mehmet Erdem, the foundation's board members and local residents attended the opening ceremony of the museum, which was renovated by the Geyre Foundation. Speaking at the ceremony, Günay drew attention to the importance of renovating museums in the Aegean region, adding that this is vital not only for tourism, but also for cultural purposes.

"We are planning to establish an Aegean civilizations museum in İzmir. We also intend to renovate the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, which is currently squeezed into a small bazaar building. Turkey's archaeological resources are sufficiently rich that we can build that world's largest archaeological museum without borrowing anything from other countries. It is our duty to preserve all of them without discriminating between religions, languages or cultures. There has been a 2 percent increase in the number of tourists coming to Turkey, which is a pleasing development," he said.

Aydın Governor Coş indicated that a hidden treasure has been partially unearthed in the region and its rich cultural assets will be made available for the eyes of the world. Noting that due to difficulty in accessing to the museum, the number of visitors is low, Aydın Governor said the road to the museum will soon be repaired.

Aphrodisias, dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite, is a name shared by a number of ancient cities. Aydın's Aphrodisias is the most famous among them and was established in a region historically called Caria.

Following its establishment in the fifth century B.C., the city prospered as an important hub of art, particularly sculpture, under Roman rule between the first century B.C. and the fifth century and was known for its Temple of Aphrodite and the rituals conducted there in her honor.

The ongoing excavation of Aphrodisias, coordinated by New York University, was first launched in 1961 by Kenan Erim, who dedicated his career to the site until his death in 1990.

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