And the 2021 European Museum of the Year ‘Special Award’ goes to OdunPazari Modern Museum in Eskisehir – congratulations! The museum, located in the heart of the old Ottoman empire, is a masterpiece in both traditional Japanese and Ottoman architecture and attracts visitors from all over the world with offerings from a range of artists right across Turkey, and the wider world.
To be considered for the award, museums need to ‘contribute directly to attracting audiences through means of a unique atmosphere, imaginative interpretation and excellent presentation’ and speaking after winning the award the museum’s communications Director Bengu Erguven said ‘It really makes us very proud, and since the day we started we have been aiming to host our visitors with an innovative, different and dynamic approach’, which proves all the hard work has paid off.
Not only is the museum itself unique, but the area in which it’s located was, in 2012, a tentative selection for the UNESCO list, given it’s heritage with the Ottomans, and more recently it’s timber houses from the 19th century, many of which have now been changed into café’s, eateries and shops.
It’s an even greater success that another of Turkey’s museums should be winning the award this year, given that in 2020, the Troy Museum won that year, which also ticked all the boxes for the Judges. Situated right at the entrance to the 5000 year old city ruins it welcomed over 800,000 visitors in 2019, and includes a history of Troy, 2000 artworks from the old city, and over 41,000 other pieces from across the world.
What makes the Troy Museum so special, is that it’s also a ‘Virtual Museum’ allowing people to experience it’s wonders & it’s history, even during a pandemic, and it’s proven to have been a great success so far, with over 1.5 million ‘visitors’ during 2020.