Göbeklitepe: Over 1.6 million visit site online

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Göbeklitepe, the world’s oldest temple in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, was visited 1.67 million times online at a time when museum buildings are closed to visitors as part of measures to mitigate the spread of novel coronavirus.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry decided to use technological facilities in museums to respond to the intense interest in cultural heritage during the coronavirus outbreak and to contribute to the promotion of museums and ruins.

Immediately after the first COVID-19 case emerged in Turkey, Sanal Müze (the Virtual Museum) application and website, whose infrastructure was prepared on March 19 and launched on March 25, drew great attraction so far.

Some 16 large museums in Turkey have been visited more than 6 million times online via the virtual museum during the lockdown, the authorities from Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry said.

Known as the zero point of history and declared an official UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018, Göbeklitepe became the most commonplace among virtual museums.

The Museum of the War of Independence, which is located in the First Assembly Building that witnessed the turning point of the Republic, in which Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his comrades made efforts to establish modern-day Turkey, has been visited nearly 1 million times.

Located in the Aegean province of İzmir and known with the statue of Artemis retrieved from the temple of the goddess, the Ephesus Archaeological Museum was visited 665,000 times.

The Troya Museum in Çanakkale province, which reached the finals this year at the European Museum of the Year Award, was visited 536,130 times.

The museums in the first four were followed by museums that shed light on Anatolian and world history, such as the Anatolian Civilizations Museum, Gaziantep Archeology Museum and Zeugma Museum.

The museums and ruins affiliated with the Culture and Tourism Ministry hosted over 35 million visitors in 2019, reaching the highest visitor figure in history.

In the Virtual Museum application, which makes one feel like they are walking at the location, visitors can start their virtual tour from any section of the museum.

While history lovers have the opportunity to examine the presented works by zooming in 3D format, the virtual travelers can also access information on the history of the works and places demonstrated in the museums.

The museums, which host millions of rare works of culture and arts, were made available to visit in the virtual environment on sanalmuze.gov.tr.

Virtual museums, which offer the opportunity to visit museums for free, will be open to visitors even after the coronavirus outbreak ends.

Hurriyet Daily News

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