The Museum of Innocence, Çukurcuma, Istanbul
In 2008 Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk published The Museum of Innocence, a novel in which the love-lorn narrator ranges Istanbul in search of objects which either belong to, or remind him of, a long-lost lover.
Istanbul-raised Pamuk opened his museum of the same name in a town house in Çukurcuma, fittingly Istanbul’s antiques and bric-a-brac quarter, in 2012. The museum displays such objects – keys, watches, clothes, old photos and posters, even a compelling collage of the love object’s lipstick-stained cigarette butts – in 83 exhibits, one for each of the novel’s chapters. Each novel actually contains a valid printed entry ticket to the museum, but those without a copy or unfamiliar with Pamuk’s story should not be deterred. As a superb artistic installation, a reliquary of objects from 1970s Istanbul and an extraordinary exercise in nostalgia, this is an arresting experience of the highest order. English-language audio guides are available, featuring commentary by Pamuk.