The Museum of Innocence is named after Orhan Pamuk’s novel, where all the objects, people, and history are fiction, created only for this book. Or visa versa. In the museum’s guide, the writer mentions that he wanted to collect and exhibit the ‘real’ objects of a fictional story in a museum and to write a novel based on those objects. Amazing, isn’t it?
This is a place where creativity and storytelling meet. As the writer Orhan Pamuk says, ‘I will build a museum, and its catalogue will be a novel’. Wow! We shouldn’t be surprised that The Museum of Innocence was honored with the title of European Museum of the Year in 2014.
Pamuk’s novel, “The Museum of Innocence,” tells a passionate love affair of a wealthy man, Kemal, with a distant cousin named Füsun, who obsessively collects objects that evoke their relationship in 1970s Istanbul. At the novel’s end, Kemal creates a museum using those objects and asks Orhan Pamuk to write his story.
This place is not just a museum; it’s a living ode to the power of storytelling and the beauty found in the ordinary. Pamuk’s vision has not only brought the novel to life but has also given us a rare glimpse into the soul of 20th-century Turkey. If you find yourself in Çukurcuma, this museum is an absolute must-visit, offering a unique and unforgettable journey through time and emotion.
Orhan Pamuk‘s books make you love Istanbul even more. I recommend purchasing one.