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Museum of Innocence


Pamuk museum opens
Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's Nobel laureate in literature, is all set to open his dream project, the Museum of Innocence. Located in Istanbul, the building presents hundreds of objects 'collected' by Pamuk's fictional character Kemal from his most recent novel, The Museum of Innocence.

After the death of his lover, Fusun, Kemal begins to collect objects that define both his lost love and the city of Istanbul as it once was but no longer is. A result of Pamuk's meticulous efforts over the last decade, the museum presents its objects in 83 different cabinets, corresponding to the novel's 83 chapters.

In the entrance hall, visitors are greeted by the image of a large spiral, representing Aristotle's concept of time, which the novel describes in detail. A massive panel filled with 4, 213 cigarette butts, supposedly smoked by Fusun, is on one wall. According to The Guardian, Pamuk worked over the last decade with several curators and young Turkish artists to find a way of designing the project, which he had in mind ever since the 1990s, when he bought the house.

Readers can leaf through fictional obituaries of characters from his previous novels The Black Book, The New Life and The Silent House and some of his own personal photographs.

Pamuk, who loves museums, said, "We are fed up with museums that attempt to tell the story of a group, a nation, a company, a state and so on. We all know that the ordinary story of individuals is more humanistic and pleasing. Museums should be smaller, more individual and cheaper. This is the only way they can express the stories of individuals. We are called upon to remember the state in big museums. This is why millions of people are afraid of going to museums. "

The jury is still out on whether this kind of synthesis, making the word flesh, works or whether it's better to leave a book as a book.

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