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Education > Season 08 > Living Museum

Date: 03.03.2017 (Season 8 - Episode 10)

Turkey's first applied open-air museum: Living Museum

Sema Demir is an academician on Turkish folk culture. With her husband Harun Demir, she works for protecting and bequeathing Anatolian culture to next generations. For this purpose, she founded the Living Museum in 2007, in Beypazari district of Ankara with the support of city’s inhabitants. 

Traditions from all around Anatolia greet the visitors on the entrance of the museum. From Karagoz and Hacivat to paper marbling, from traditional painting methods to wooden toy making, several traditions are presented to the experience of the visitors. This way, visitors are allowed to become a part of the show instead of just being a spectator. The aim is to let visitors instantly experience the culture in the museum.

In addition to the Living Museum, Sema Demir also founded the Anatolian Open Air Museum – Living Village in 2016 which focuses on Turkish-Anatolian culture in an architectural context. In the Living Village, there are permanent and temporary exhibitions on several topics such as architectural figures, traditional professions, cuisine culture, clothing and seasonal festivals.

Within the Living Museum, Sema Demir also founded Turkish Bath Museum which has a reputation of being Turkey’s first and the world’s third bath museum.

Living Museum, with all its units, aims to hand down the Anatolian culture to new generations. At the same time, it works both as a practical and a theoretical laboratory for students of Turkish Folk Culture Department. Living Museum provides employment opportunities for inhabitants of Beypazari and university students. Besides, the museum has many volunteers from Beypazari and its surroundings. The museum welcomed more than 1 million visitors since its establishment.

Sema Demir imagined a museum which not only exhibits the rich and deep-rooted culture of Anatolia but also allows its visitors to experience and protect the culture. She founded the Living Museum which welcomes over 200 thousand local and foreign tourists per year. She contributed to the development of tourism in Beypazari, Ankara. She proposed an innovative model in the area of museum studies. She created a huge difference both in handing down the Anatolian culture to next generations and also in the lives the Beypazari’s inhabitants.

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