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Old January 6th, 2013, 05:10 AM   #2
Joel Greifinger
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Massachusetts
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9. Carpet museum is STILL not open. Apparently the space is "too moist" for carpets which have all been put into storage somewhere else. The folks I spoke to in the Arasta bazaar were rather exasperated that in 7, (or 8, or 10 years...who remembers?) whoever runs the museum has been unable to locate a new venue or install some dehumidifiers.
Hi Jeff,

Well, supposedly there is a wonderful, newly renovated venue, but...

In HALI #168, the Director of the Vakiflar Hali Museum in Istanbul wrote that the museum would "re-open in its state-of-the-art permanent quarters before the end of 2011." The new location is supposedly the Ayasofia Imareti, the former charity soup kitchen adjacent to Ayasofia. When I was in Istanbul last summer I spent a good deal of time searching for the building and asking folks who worked in the area and in the cultural and museum sector if and when it was opening. I also tried asking various rug dealers. I consistently got one of two responses. Either I would get sent to the former location by the Blue Mosque that has been closed since 2006, or merely be told that it didn't exist. In the age of the Web, I figured there had to be some information on the internet, but have never managed to find any. The only trace is a sign, hidden by branches at the back wall of the Ayasofia compound that announces the Vakiflar Carpet Museum will open in late 2011. HALI has never followed up on their article to inform the readership that the re-opening that they announced with such fanfare doesn't exist.

Joel Greifinger
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