Famed art museum ushers in new era
ISTANBUL — It’s a busy afternoon at Istanbul Modern, Turkey’s premier modern art museum, and the gallery is packed with visitors taking selfies or discussing the artworks in hushed tones.
Some pause in front of a massive canvas by celebrated German artist Anselm Kiefer, while others look in amazement at a masterpiece by Turkish abstract painter Fahrelnissa Zeid or gasp at iconic black and white images of old Istanbul by legendary local photographer Ara Guler.
Since opening in 2004, Istanbul Modern, spectacularly situated on the Bosporus with a view of the Ottoman-era Topkapi Palace, has become a symbol of 21st century Istanbul, open to outside influences but proud of its past.
But within a few days of the visit, all the artworks will have been taken down, carefully cataloged and put into protective cases.
The building, a maritime warehouse known as Antrepo No 4 in Turkish and beloved by many Istanbulites since the museum’s opening, will be demolished.
However, it will not be the end for Istanbul Modern.
After closing its doors on March 18, the museum will reopen in a historic mansion in the central Beyoglu district in May.
The mansion will be a temporary home until a new museum is built on the site of the old Istanbul Modern to showcase its collection to even greater effect.
The new building will be designed by Italian architect