Turkey’s extraordinary Baksı Museum launches environmental project

At the top of a mountain in northern Turkey’s Bayburt resides an award-winning, extraordinary museum, namely the Baksı Museum, which has now begun an environmental project to turn trash collected from the nearby Çoruh River and surrounding route into works of art.

The Baksı Museum was established 12 years ago in the village of Bayraktar in Bayburt and has become an “extraordinary museum” worldwide due to its architectural structure and location, and is now set to launch an initiative to “Wash Çoruh River with Art” to raise awareness about the importance of keeping rivers clean.

The museum was founded by painter and professor Hüsamettin Koçan on a hill overlooking the Çoruh Valley in the village of Bayraktar – formerly called Baksı – 45 kilometers (27.9 miles) from the city center, opening its doors to art lovers in 2010.

Awarded the Museum Award by the Council of Europe in 2014 and the Honor Award by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) the same year, the museum hosts contemporary and traditional art under the same roof while providing education and employment opportunities to local people with workshops.

Conducting research to preserve the traditional culture and transfer it to future generations, the museum is also engaged in women’s employment projects and identifying and supporting gifting children while also making a name for itself both at home and abroad with its fragrance and extraordinary exhibitions.

Baksı Museum founder Koçan told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the museum started the tourism season very quickly and that they wanted to close the gap caused by the pandemic.

Stating that they will implement the “Project to Wash Çoruh River with Art” in order to raise environmental awareness in addition to holding events like exhibitions, concerts, symposiums and award ceremonies this year, Koçan said that within the scope of the project, the plan is to scan and collect trash from the Çoruh River with students along a 100-kilometer stretch within the city limits.

“We will bring them and store them here, and together with the students, we will make works of art from them here. We will provide scholarships to students and support this with conferences. We want to root in children in our society the awareness that nature is a value that should not be polluted and should be protected. This year, it will encompass Bayburt and Çoruh River, and it will encompass other places in the coming years. We want to spread the awareness of cleaning and keeping clean all the rivers in Turkey. This will be a very valuable project. “

Koçan stated that an international company is sponsoring the project.

He also stressed that they want to create a real agenda against environmental pollution with the project.

“We will take the second part of the ‘Project to Wash Çoruh River with Art’ to Istanbul. We have a protocol with the museum of Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul. We will hold a symposium there. We will go there with examples and documentaries about creating environmental awareness, and we want to create a real agenda, “he said.

Koçan also mentioned that work has begun on switching to solar panels for the museum’s heating and electricity.

“Using the possibilities of nature is a very basic thing. We only spoil nature. However, nature gives us great wealth. One of them is the sun, the other is the wind and the rivers. We need to use all these very productively. That’s why we decided to use solar energy for our electrical system and heating here. We held our meetings today. I think we will realize this project next year. “

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