TRABZON - Anatolia News Agency
During a visit to a museum of beeswax statues in Russia nine years ago, a Turkish geophysical engineer was inspired by the statues to open a similar exhibition here. Now, Jale Kuşhan is preparing to turn her traveling exhibition of beeswax figures of famous Turkish and world figures into a permanent museum starting this December.
Kuşhan went to Russia in 1999 for language education and fell in love with the beeswax sculpture exhibition in St. Petersburg. �Later I learned that I could bring the exhibition to Turkey,� she told the Anatolia news agency.
She created her exhibition of beeswax statues by using her own money and a bank loan. �As a result of talks with the Ministry of Culture I learned that Turkey did not have a beeswax exhibition or museum and I managed to open one after some effort. I have visited every city in Turkey and exhibited the beeswax statues of Turkish or foreign celebrities for 8.5 years since that day.�
She said she rented the statues at first but began to buy them eventually. �I spent the income of the exhibition to open a new exhibition. As I earned more money, I added the bee wax statues of celebrities in Turkey.�
Kuşhan said many people have shown interest in the art of beeswax statues. �Millions of people have visited our exhibition in 8.5 years. The number of visitors ranged between 300 and 700 a day. Our guides provide information about this art and the celebrities whose sculptures are on display to visitors. In no beeswax statue museum in the world are visitors provided information about the statues.�
Exhibition will become museum in December
Kuşhan said that carrying a beeswax sculpture was as difficult as carrying a thin crystal and added this is the reason why she plans to turn the exhibition into a permanent museum.
Noting that the work to open a museum was at its final stage, Kuşhan said: �I will open a museum in a shopping mall next to the Istanbul Atatürk Airport in December. I plan to display beeswax statues of nearly 100 Turkish and foreign celebrities. I can't believe I dared to initiate such a thing, but I am very proud of being the first person who open a bee wax exhibition in Turkey.�
Kuşhan said the exhibition includes 47 famous people from Turkey and the world, including the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Russian author Dostoevsky, and Sultan Mehmet, the conqueror of Istanbul.
She said that mostly children have shown an interest in Atatürk's statue and that many have tried to kiss his hand. �The statues of Ivan Grozni, who is known as �Ivan the Terrible,' and Dostoevsky, which were created by the Ethnology and Anthropology Institute by examining the bone real structures, are also of great interest to visitors,� she added.