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    Mevlana Museum in urgent need of a new hall

    Anatolia News Agency
    23.04.2009 - 18:17 | Son Güncelleme:

    KONYA - The Mevlana Museum in the central Anatolian province of Konya cannot satisfy the needs of visitors any more, said Mayor Tahir Akyürek, adding that a new museum hall will be built near the museum building.

    The new hall will be built between the Mevlana Museum and the Mevlana Culture Center, which are all under the project of the Mevlana Culture Valley. The Mevlana Culture Center and the monument of Independence War Martyrs are completed, Akyürek said, adding that they are working to complete other parts of the valley project as well. The Mevlana Museum is not like it was in the old days, as currently 8,000 or 10,000 people visit the museum, Akyürek said. "The Mevlana Museum is now one of the two most-visited museums in Turkey. It is so busy that the exhibition halls inside the museum are not sufficient. That’s why we started to work for a new hall nearby. If we can agree with the Culture Ministry, we would like to build a new, modern hall in which we can exhibit the pieces in the depots of the museum," he said.Nearby the museum The new hall should be near the museum building and integrated with it, Akyürek said, adding that this led them to initiate the process for handing over the area just behind the museum, which used to be called the "Konya Houses."If the project is completed, the number of visitors to Konya will increase as well, according to the mayor. "We used to talk about forming new areas that people can visit in Konya. By exhibiting pieces that have not been displayed before, visitors will spend more time there. People who enter the museum garden will be able to visit the new hall without leaving the area," Akyürek said. The new hall is estimated to cost approximately $10 million to $15 million.The museum used to be a convent for Mevlevi dervishes, also known as Whirling Dervishes, who were followers of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi. The place was a gift to Sultánü'l-Ulemá Báhaeddin Veled, the father of Mevlana, from Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat, while it was a rose garden. When Mevlana’s father died, he buried him in this place and his friends asked Mevlana to build a tomb over his grave. However, Mevlana refused the request and said, "There will be no greater tomb than the sky." After Mevlana’s death in 1273, his son accepted to build the tomb. The Mevlana Museum building’s first pieces were built at that time, but it wasn’t until 1926 that it became the museum it is today.
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