08 Oct

Turkish historic olive oil factory ‘reborn’ as museum

A historical building which served as an olive oil factory for 200 years and was later used as camel shelter, a gin factory and woodshed in Muğla’s Milas district will be converted, with the help of the Milas Museum project, into what will be the most modern museum in the Aegean, luring both local and foreign tourists to the region.

The building is owned by one of the most distinguished families of Milas. The protected area where the historical building is located is estimated to cost $500,000 alone and covers an area of 14,000 square meters.

Milas Museum director Erol Özen said the historic factory has been idle for 30 years. “We will convert the ancient factory into a museum where we will display the artifacts excavated in and around Milas. We will also restore the olive oil factory, which will be able to work traditionally as it used to work in its time, so that the visitors will view the process of olive oil production,” he said.

The area surrounding the musem will be developed into a complex with cafes and restaurants, archaeology workshops, an amphitheater and souvenir stands. “Our museum will be the largest and richest archaeology, ethnography and industry museum of the region with its facilities. Tourists will flock to our region when our project is completed,” said Özen.

The 5,000-year old artifacts, he says, will be displayed in a contemporary approach, displaying them in museum as well as through slide shows and events.

The family who owned the factory said they were pleased with the project. “The situation of the olive oil and gin factories, which have been idle for years, has also worried us. We wanted to turn the establishments into olive oil museum where we would display the olive oil production in phases from past to present, contributing to the history and culture of the region,” they said.

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