There’s Definitely One For You

The Istanbul 2010 Capital of Culture projects have left the preparation stage far behind and become reality. Here are a few of them you won’t want to miss...

FINALLY...
The 180-ton scaffolding in the Ayasofya Museum (Hagia Sophia) has finally come down following a year of efforts by the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency. The Hagia Sophia, which can be seen now sans scaffolding for the first time in 17 years, is ready and waiting to be rediscovered. And that includes the face of a six-winged angel (Seraph) uncovered 160 years ago in the museum’s northeast dome.

KREMLIN PALACE TREASURES
Topkapı Palace is getting ready to welcome choice pieces from the Moscow Kremlin. The exhibition, ‘Moscow Kremlin Palace Treasures at Topkapı Palace’, mounted under the auspices of Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture, will open on March 12 in the palace’s Imperial Stables section. Items featured in the exhibition include arms such as swords, daggers and helmets, equestrian accoutrements, jewelry, pocket watches, ewers and basins, and ink pots, all of which entered the Kremlin Palace collection as a result of commercial and diplomatic relations between the two countries.  June 7 is the last day for this exhibition of close to 100 objects.

‘VERY BEAUTIFUL’
Part of the Protable Art Project, ‘Çok Güzel’ (Very Beautiful) is an exhibition of contemporary art which is opening at Kervansaray on March 3. Curated by Fatih Balcı, it features 15 artists, among them Coşkun Sami, Denizhan Özer, Gül Ilgaz, Güler Güngör, Maria Sezer, Şakir Gökçebağ and Şinasi Güneş. At the historic Kervansaray in Büyükçekmece through April 3.  For details:
www.istanbul2010.org

THE SHIP OF İLHAN KOMAN
  One of Turkey’s most prominent names in the art of sculpture, İlhan Koman spent 28 years of his life in Sweden. Now his home-cum-workshop there, a 1905-built 2-mast schooner called the M/S Hulda, is coming to Istanbul. Realized with the support of the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency, the boat is coming to Istanbul as part of a project titled the ‘Hulda Festival Art and Science Voyage’. The boat, which set sail from Stockholm in April 2009, is expected to arrive in Istanbul in September. For further information: www.huldafestival.org

‘MAHYA’ AND HEADGEAR 
The Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency is bringing the city’s residents two new books: ‘Mahya: The Art of Writing in the Sky’ and ‘Ottoman Headgear’. The first is a collection of articles by experts in the field about the myriad tiny lights, or mahya, traditionally strung between the minarets of mosques on Ramadan, and includes close to 150 photographs, engravings, paintings, postcards and documents on the subject. ‘Ottoman Headgear’ meanwhile examines the types and features of Ottoman headgear as represented on gravestones and sheds light on the structure of Ottoman society.

PUPPETS OF THE WORLD IN İSTANBUL
The International Istanbul Puppet Festival, ‘World Puppets Istanbul’, will take place over three months, March 21 to May 16, as part of the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture events. The opening of the festival, under artistic director Cengiz Özek, will be at Garajistanbul on March 21. Venues for the festival shows include the French Culture Center, Kukla Istanbul, Garajistanbul and Notre Dame de Sion. For details:
+90212 243 47 04.