October 1, 2023


By Heidi Trautmann …

It is not so long ago that we all celebrated the laying of the foundation stone for the long awaited vision of a museum of art in Northern Cyprus, on the premises of Near East University.

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On 27th September, Dr. Suat Günsel, founder of Near East University, surprised us with an Interim Museum of Modern Art to house his grand collection of art works and to make it available to the public. The opening ceremony was held in front of it in the small amphitheatre with the Car Museum just opposite. Many important words were said; firstly by Prof. Dr. Ümit Hassan and Dr. Irfan Suat Günsel; there were representatives for the artists of some Turkic countries who have been adding many paintings to the big collection; there were the Minister of Education Cemal Özyiğit, the Minister of Tourism, Fikri Ataoglu and finally the Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman. I realised that the representatives of the arts and culture, academic staff spoke with low voices but the politicians found strong words in loud voices and had the importance of the museum well pronounced.

The ten meter red ribbon was cut by the academicians and politicians in rather equal pieces. The museum halls are all ready to have many visitors, young and old, local and foreign, to see the rich collection. I heard people say: There is not much modern art represented, it’s more or less all classic. That is not quite true. Considering the fact that it is a sort of Interim Museum we may overlook that the paintings are not hung by place of origin, so we have Turkish painters next to those of Turkic origin such as Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan etc., and in-between are our local artists, modern and classic, graphic and in oil, mixed, I am sure that will be corrected once the collection is moved to the new big museum in 2020: How exciting it is to finally have one. You heard me say so after so many years of fighting for it together with other artists.

This is what Dr. Suat Günsel says himself about his vision that he has brought to reality at the end of an article: The Cyprus Museum of Modern Arts, which has been brought to the Turkish Cypriot community by the Near East University with the mission of bringing a different dimension to the cultural and art life of the country, adding value to the art and giving continuity to the interest in the arts, is located in the NEU Car Museum area on the campus of Near East University. The museum will open its doors to art lovers between 09.00-18.00 hours six days a week except Monday.

A museum is the treasure chest of a country, thank you, Dr. Suat Günsel, for opening it for us to see it and to be proud of it.

In the evening of the same day a reception was given to celebrate the opening of the Museum among academicians, artists and politicians at the new Bellapais Oasis Hotel; we had the pleasure to listen to the beautiful voices of the Turksoy opera singers who have been appearing on the occasion of the Turksoy Opera Days just recently.

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