Istanbul, Turkey (2013) - I’ve long felt that things that are old seem more interesting than things that are just past their prime. That’s why we love classic 50’s roadsters, yet that dated 1980’s Chevy Citation attracts scorn. Similarly Istanbul’s Archeological Museum houses ancient treasures from the very beginnings of Western Civilization. Crowds flock to see millennia-old Egyptian sarcophagi, the glazed tile from the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, and the Kadesh peace treaty – the oldest known written international agreement from 1258 B.C.
However on the third floor on the eastern side, this spiral staircase from the 1960’s stands abandoned. Its stark modern design stands out from the entire museum, which was built in the 19th Century in a neo-classical style. Perhaps the curators felt that constructing it would modernize the building and attract more visitors. However, fifty years later, the worn carpet and the emptiness prove that the people think it looks dated and are more interested in the old. Should be interesting how we feel about this staircase when it finally becomes old in 100 years or so.