Over 16M people visited Turkish museums in 2021, officials said on Friday.
Turkiye has a total of 428 museums, including 219 that are privately-owned, and over 3.6 million items exhibited, including archaeological, ethnographic, and many others.
Domestic and foreign experts conducted a total of 665 excavation and surface studies, uncovering over 5,200 artifacts that were added to museum inventories. Besides these, 3,480 pieces smuggled abroad were returned to Turkiye.
Measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak led to a significant drop in visitors, which fell was below 9 million, when museums were shut down in 2020. They later reopened last year, during which this figure reached 16.25 million.
The Troy Museum in western Canakkale province was given the prestigious European Museum Forum Special Award in 2020 when it also received the European Museum of the Year Special Appreciation Award to become the first Turkish museum to get both.
Gokhan Yazgi, the director-general of cultural assets and museums, marked 2019 as the best year for Turkish museums as they drew more than 35 million visitors, before the sudden eruption of the pandemic led to a significant drop.
Newly found historical artifacts, as well as those recovered from getting smuggled abroad, the need for more museums arose, according to the director-general, who said this led to a 52% increase in the number of museums in the past decade.