Cemal Köyük / Istanbul, May 24 () - For a new project begun within the scope of Museums’ Week, the Bilkent Cultural Initiative (BKG), the largest museum store chain in Turkey, has brought 3-D printing technology to the Topkapı Palace Museum Store, displaying a 3-D printed reproduction of a sculpture of Hittite King Suppiluliuma for visitors.
Following Topkapı Palace, the replica sculpture will go to the Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the İzmir Ephesus Museum.
BKG is owned by Bilintur, which operates stores in museums around the country, and is affiliated with the Culture and Tourism Ministry on behalf of the Central Directorate of Circulating Capital (DÖSİMM).
Thanks to this project, the copy of a cultural artifact has been produced with a 3-D printer for the first time in Turkey. The sculpture replica of King Suppiluliuma was chosen for the project.
At a press conference held on May 21, Bilintur Executive Board member Orhan Hallik said, “Thanks to our collaboration with infoTRON, we have brought together history and technology. The project, which started at the Topkapı Palace Museum, will be maintained. 3-D copies of artifacts from Ankara and İzmir museums will visit cities.”
The statue, which was found at the Tell Tayinat Mound in 2012 in the eastern Turkish province of Hatay’s Reyhanlı district during excavations led by Toronto University Professor Timothy Harrison, holds a spike in one hand and a lance in the other.
It shows motifs similar to other Anatolian figures, but it is very different from other discoveries uncovered so far. Although it is made of basalt stone, the eyes of the sculpture are artificial.
The entirety of the sculpture has not been found but the upper part is in very good condition. The statue of the king with a beard, long hair and bracelets is one of the most prominent promotional symbols of Hatay.
The original statue is on display at the Hatay Archaeology Museum.