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Success and Leadership

The Museum of Innocence In Turkey: A Book Becomes A Museum

The Museum of Innocence is both a novel by Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk and a real museum based on the book. This is a fairly original idea since the reader can closely admire everything they read in the book.

The plot of the book

The Museum of Innocence is set in Istanbul between 1975 and 2000. It tells the story of Kemal, the scion of a wealthy family in Istanbul, and his passionate love for his poor distant relative, Fisun, whom he had not seen since he was a child. But everything changes when his fiancee, Sibel, asks him to buy her a bag from a well-known boutique of the time. There he accidentally meets Fisun, who serves him. In this first meeting, he envisions their shared future, and his life is changing.

For many years he is furiously picking up everything that his beloved Fisun had touched. So, looking at them, he will remember her and feel like she is with him. After her death, he buys her a house to turn it into a museum as a tribute to her and his own lost life. There he decides to exhibit her personal belongings so that everyone can admire them.

The author’s work

The Museum of Innocence is the only book in the world for which an entire museum has been created. During the book’s writing, Orhan Pamuk collected various objects included in the text, just as the hero did. So it seems that the book and the real Museum were created at the same time in the writer’s imagination. Some of them already existed in his possession, while others he acquired from friends, relatives, and antique shops. He then placed them in a house in Istanbul – the capital of Turkey – and at his own expense, created the present Museum. As he said, it cost him about as much as the Nobel Prize, that is, $ 1.5 million.

The exhibits of the Museum

In the Museum, visitors can find the 4,213 cigarette butts listed in the book and more than 1,000 items. All are exhibited in 83 showcases (as many as the chapters of the book) in the order they appear in the book’s plot. Thus, one can see from combs, pins, and mirrors to the ice cream cone with a trace of her lipstick. Each object testifies to a moment of their lives. On the top floor, there is Kemal’s room, where he is supposed to have lived for the last seven years.

The ticket is included with the book

The Museum of Innocence opened its doors to the public in 2012, and anyone can visit it using the ticket they will find inside their book. So you can all tour for free and live in the world of Kemal, as Orhan Pamuk created it.

An innovative idea

This Museum was not only expensive to construct, but it is also an authentically intelligent idea. The writer was really inspired when he decided to write the book, and he certainly had high hopes for it. Apart from the artistic approach of the book and the Museum, we can all see an exciting idea in terms of marketing. Who would not be excited to read a book and then visit a whole museum that was exclusively designed for the readers of the specific book? We are not sure about the profits from the particular marketing approach, but I am sure the author enjoyed it regardless of the profits.

Seeing things from the reader’s view, I guess the Museum has a symbolic approach as well. Through this tour and the reading of the book, we understand that all people wish to imprison happiness so that it always returns in the form of memory, and we cannot blame anyone for trying to capture happiness and joy!


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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Success and Leadership - The Museum of Innocence In Turkey: A Book Becomes A Museum
Anna Siampani
Anna Siampani, Lifestyle Editorial Director at the CEOWORLD magazine, working with reporters covering the luxury travel, high-end fashion, hospitality, and lifestyle industries. As lifestyle editorial director, Anna oversees CEOWORLD magazine's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. You can reach Anna by mail at