Istanbul Airport has opened its museum, the Istanbul Airport Museum, with an exhibition on important Turkish artefacts.
The museum – which hopes to boost tourism in the country by promoting culture and history to passengers – occupies a surface of 1,000m2 and was designed the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The museum’s first exhibition, ‘Treasures of Turkey: Faces of the Throne’, will feature 316 pieces from 29 museums around Turkey.
The exhibition, which span from the prehistoric era to the Ottoman and republican periods, will include the Kadesh Treaty, the world’s first peace treaty, signed in 1259 BC between the Egyptians and the Hittites.
The so-called Talismanic Jackets, decorated vests used by the Ottoman sultans, will also be on display.
“With this museum, we have been able to gather some original artefacts under a single roof, which would otherwise be impossible to set eyes on at a single time,” said Kadri Samsunlu, İGA Airport CEO and director.
“Every passenger setting foot on Turkey will now have the chance to see all highly significant artefacts of our history in a single museum.”
The museum will also offer passengers introductory information on Turkey’s 18 UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites.
“We plan that Istanbul Airport Museum, serving as a manifestation of the importance we attach to culture and art, will also contribute to the promotion of our country.”
Istanbul is not the first airport to have its own museum.
San Francisco International Airport created its first exhibition programme in 1980, becoming the first museum in an airport to get accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums in 1999. As of today, the museum has more than 20 galleries hosting different cultural events.
In Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport has also been curating exhibitions since 2002, working alongside institutions such as the Rijksmuseum and the NEMO Science Museum.