Turkey, Winter Tourism in Turkey

Turkey’s ‘ice museum’ lets visitors take polar strolls

Exhibition hosts 22 works built from ice, including a map of Turkey and an igloo house

Yunus Hocaoglu   | 21.01.2021
Turkey’s ‘ice museum’ lets visitors take polar strolls

ERZURUM, Turkey

Turkey’s Ata Ice Museum in eastern Erzurum province, one of the country’s most important centers of winter tourism, is now welcoming visitors with new works of art.  

The museum, the only one of its kind in Turkey, was established in cooperation with Ataturk University and the Northeast Anatolian Development Agency (KUDAKA). It opened last year at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Ataturk University in Erzurum, one of the cities where the winter season is harsh.

Faculty members at the university’s sculpture department produce new projects at intervals.

A total of 22 works made of ice including an igloo, a map of Turkey, a Turkish flag and a statue of Nene Hatun, one of the important symbols of the city, are being shown at the exhibition with the theme "Republic and Child" and "Salt and Ice.”

The museum, which contains ice sculptures illuminated by special lighting systems, takes visitors on a journey through the poles wearing coats due to the cold temperature inside.

‘Many works heated and combined with iron’

Mustafa Bulat, dean of the Fine Arts Faculty of Ataturk University, told Anadolu Agency that the museum was opened on July 15 last year with the support of Omer Comakli, the university’s rector.

Bulat said it took three months to prepare the exhibition.

"Many works such as the igloo house, the symbol of the tent tradition of the poles and Central Asia, statues such as the Huma bird for children, the seahorse and small sailboat, the map of Turkey and the Turkish flag and Nene Hatun, one of the symbols of Erzurum, were heated with iron and then combined together,” he said.

He said they aim to contribute to the city’s tourism by introducing the culture of the region and are waiting for visitors to come to the museum.

"We will complete projects in preparation for March 12 [the anniversary of the liberation of Erzurum from enemy occupation] and July 23 [the anniversary of the Erzurum Congress],” Bulat said.

He added that they will continue to host a workshop event and promote Erzurum by inviting international arts there.

Salt and Ice exhibition

Caner Yedikardes, a member of the university’s ceramics department, said the exhibition themed “Salt and Ice” was created by combining ice and ceramic materials.

"I was thinking 'How do I associate ice with glass made with terracotta?’ I wanted to evaluate it when it was possible,” he said.

Halil Daskesen, a teacher with the sculpture department, said he made a piano-shaped sculpture dedicated to Muammer Sun, a former music teacher and Turkish composer.

"The piano was especially dedicated to Muammer Sun. In memory of our teacher, who wrote the anthem of the 40th year of our university, we will bring our work together with art lovers for two months,” he said.

*Writing by Merve Berker

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