Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kemal Özkurt: Environmental Factors and Climate Changes Negatively Affect Historical Artifacts and Artworks
07 Kasım 2023, Salı - 15:47
Güncelleme: 17 Kasım 2023, Cuma - 15:47
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Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kemal Özkurt, Head of the Department of History of Art at Ondokuz Mayıs University (OMU) Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, emphasized the adverse effects of environmental factors and climate changes on historical artifacts and artworks. He noted that environmental pollution is a global issue and that preserving historical artifacts is achievable through measured and balanced consumption. "We must protect our artworks, which are the testaments of our existence in Anatolia, at least as much as we protect ourselves," said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özkurt.

Dr. Özkurt elaborated that environmental pollution, a universal issue, can be mitigated to protect historical artifacts by adopting balanced and moderate consumption practices. "If people consume everything in moderation and balance, nature will naturally absorb it. We should not subject historical artifacts to anything we wouldn't want for ourselves or humanity. We must act with moderation. Otherwise, we risk losing our historical artifacts, our identity cards, in the near future."

“It Is Disheartening That Konya, the Capital of the Seljuks, Suffers from Environmental Pollution”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özkurt highlighted the growing environmental problems and their impact on historical artifacts. "Throughout history, artifacts and works of art have always been influenced by their environment. However, this impact has intensified in recent times. An architect or artist traditionally chooses materials suitable for the local climate and available environment. However, environmental pollution and climate change make it harder for materials to adapt to changing conditions, leading to rapid deformation. Regrettably, Turkey ranks in the 50s globally in environmental pollution. We should aim to be a cleaner country. Environmental pollution is not only our problem but a universal problem. The Egyptian pyramids are seriously affected by environmental pollution. The white marble structure of the Taj Mahal, one of the first monuments of the Mughals in India that comes to mind when it comes to monumental tombs, is starting to darken and yellow. We should be careful and vigilant against this."

“Restoration Also Causes Some Damage to Artifacts”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özkurt warned that restorations of historical monuments might also inflict some harm. "Environmental pollution affecting our people directly impacts artworks, often more severely. We have to protect our artworks and our heritage in Anatolia, at least as much as we protect ourselves. Pollution in any part of the world today affects artworks everywhere. Our holy book teaches us about the balance in nature, urging us not to disturb it, and warning of long-term consequences if this balance is disrupted. These consequences include environmental disasters and human impact. Therefore, even though we restore our historical monuments, each restoration inevitably causes some damage."

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