The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, September 15, 2019


Up on the roof, revamping Istanbul's Grand Bazaar
This file photo taken on March 1, 2017 shows Okan Erhan Oflaz, Turkish deputy mayor of the Fatih municipality, posing during an interview on the top of Istanbul's iconic marketplace, the Grand Bazaar, during its renovation in Istanbul. Atop Istanbul's iconic Grand Bazaar -- the scene of a high-speed motorbike chase in the 2012 James Bond film "Skyfall" -- a full force drive to revamp it has begun. OZAN KOSE / AFP.

by Fulya Ozerkan


ISTANBUL.- Atop Istanbul's iconic Grand Bazaar -- the scene of a high-speed motorbike chase in the 2012 James Bond film "Skyfall" -- a full force drive to revamp it has begun.

The centuries-old marketplace has already undergone a security upgrade after a spate of terror attacks in Istanbul. For the bazaar's traders, the primary concern now is not the restoration but lack of tourists.

Round-the-clock workers on the roof take the cats' path to renovate the bazaar, which topped the list of the world's most visited destinations in 2014.

The roof renovation is estimated to cost 10 million Turkish lira (2.6 million euros, $2.7 million). Work began on July 14 last year -- only one day before a coup attempt to oust the government, but the work went on.

The restoration of the entire bazaar is likely to cost 200 million Turkish lira and is expected to take four years to complete, but officials add that there will always be work needed at the Grand Bazaar because of its historic identity.

"The Grand Bazaar is a historical place. It's not possible to complete the restoration from today to tomorrow," said Okan Erhan Oflaz, deputy mayor of the Fatih municipality where it is located.

One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar was a trade hub during the Ottoman Empire which dominated swathes of the Middle East and North Africa for more than six centuries until it collapsed at the end of World War I.

Construction of the marketplace began in 1455, two years after the Ottomans seized Istanbul then known as Constantinople from the Byzantines, under the reign of Sultan Mehmet II -- Fatih the Conqueror.

With the rise of the empire, the bazaar thrived and by the 17th century it had taken on its current shape, giving the bazaar its Turkish name Kapalicarsi (Covered Market).

Situated in Istanbul's historic peninsula -- home to the Sultanahmet mosque and Hagia Sophia -- the Grand Bazaar plays host to around 3,000 shops where over 30,000 people work.

Shop owners wait
Authorities say the bazaar is currently earthquake resistant but what makes it vulnerable is the modifications done by property owners changing its structuring.

Over its long history the structure has suffered quake and fire damage. Today it is in dire need of a facelift, with shop owners lamenting roof leaks and bad air conditioning.

Numan, who owns a souvenir shop selling traditional pots and plates, said he believes the renovation will be a plus.

"I think it will have a positive impact on the bazaar because there will be air conditioning for the summer and a heating system will be established for the winter after the work is done," he said.

Omer, 48, who sells embroidered pillow cases, complained that he has seen no improvement, although shop owners pay a monthly fee of about 75 euros.

"We give money but there's nothing happening. We clean here in the evening and in the morning all in dirt. When it rains, it's afloat," he said.

"The roof needs to be fixed. It's much worse in the winter. They are insulating (the roof) but we don't know how it will be."

And the Grand Bazaar saw damage to its structure when it hosted the motorcycle chase scene in the Agent 007 film "Skyfall".

But Oflaz said the damage caused "by the friends in Hollywood" was almost nothing compared to the wear and tear on the market over the years.

"A few bricks might have been broken but when you now take a look at the Grand Bazaar, there are no bricks that are not broken," he said.

'Security doubled'
A slew of attacks blamed on Kurdish militants and Islamic State jihadists over the last year have dealt a blow to tourism in Istanbul, where top destinations such as Sultanahmet were targeted.

Turkish authorities say the Grand Bazaar could be a possible target and so they have "doubled security measures compared to the past", said Oflaz.

Detector gates, X-ray scanning as well as the deployment of additional police provided by the governor's office around the historic neighbourhood are aimed at keeping it "away from a terror threat," he said.

But more than the renovation, shop owners and sales people are primarily concerned with getting back to business, longing for the good old days when tourists flocked to the bazaar.

"I've been at the Grand Bazaar for 35 years. At that time, it was good, there were tourists, Europeans," Omer said.

But now "things are getting worse. People barely pay their rents," he added.

Oflaz admitted there has been a decline in the number of visitors to the bazaar from over 90 million in 2014 -- though officials have given no specific numbers.

The bazaar is an "army in itself" with its 30,000 sales people, said Oflaz.

And not only tourists visit, locals do too. "The Grand Bazaar is not that much alone. It is a place where many people stop by all the time," he said.


© Agence France-Presse






Today's News

March 15, 2017

Museum sets out on a new path presenting a fresh reading of the work of Picasso

Stash of paintings discovered after 16 years just 50 miles from place of theft

Despite bad weather, Asia Week galleries opened their doors

Sweeping survey of Mexican modern art opens at the Dallas Museum of Art

Dubai hosts largest regional contemporary art expo

Christie's to feature rare 15th century masterpiece attributed to Hugo van der Goes

Dulwich Picture Gallery celebrates 200 years of visitors

Pallant House Gallery displays works by artists working in the field of British Constructivism

Largest collection of jewelry worn by legendary stars of Hollywood's Golden Era goes to auction

Sotheby's Dubai opens gallery & office

Bertoia Auctions' March 25 Signature Sale sets new standard for quality and rarity

Artist profile: Erté

Sotheby's Hong Kong Evening Sale to offer western contemporary art for the first time

Art Institute of Chicago names new Dittmer Curator

South Africa's 'chicken feather' painter brushes off fame

Up on the roof, revamping Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

Peabody Essex Museum awarded grant to assess how neuroscience can enhance museum experience

Paddle8 announces first Takashi Murakami dedicated auction

Strongest showing of civil rights material yet at Swann Galleries annual African Americana auction

Phillips appoints Miety Heiden as Deputy Chairman, Head of Private Sales

Contemporary Fine Arts presents works by Chinese artists

Ayyam Gallery Dubai opens solo exhibition of Tehran-based painter Afshin Pirhashemi

Asian objects will be sold alongside items from the Western culture in Converse Auctions sale

Marriage medals at Spink, a match made in heaven

Exhibition reconsiders the immense visions of Forrest Bess and Joan Snyder

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful