By. Justin Mays
Healthy cities have access to art and cultural venues and real value is gained through establishing a vibrant arts scene. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), the number of museums in Turkey increased by 5.8% in 2020. Currently there are 494 museums compared to 467 museums in 2019. 205 museums are under the Culture and Tourism Ministry with 289 being private institutions. Collections at the ministry run museums also grew by 0.5% last year, reaching 3.3 million pieces. Access to public art is as important as an attractive architecture, safe and well-lit roads, dining options and access to green spaces for any urban center.
Enriching the space around us, art is a great medium for public engagement, to build social capital and to provide professional opportunities for a thriving creative class. It can also boast local economies and those wanting to invest in Turkey, a good example of which is the upcoming Contemporary Istanbul, Turkey’s leading art fair with the sponsorship of Akbank. They will host the Istanbul’s first international art event since the pandemic at Tersane Istanbul from October 5-10. Tersane is a historic shipyard on the Golden Horn and is a major regeneration project not far from Galata Port. Since the fair’s establishment 16 years ago it has been a great boast to the local economy with visitors from around the world.
This year the fair will host contemporary art galleries, artists and collectors from St. Petersburg, and have a museum section with the MOMA and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art represented. Collaborating with the Turkish Tourism and Development Agency and Turkish airlines to bring international collectors, art lovers and media to the city firmly ranks Istanbul as a top city for art and culture.