Historic Casa Garibaldi in Istanbul hosts first exhibition as cultural spot

Istanbuland’s Casa Garibaldi building was home to a quite interesting exhibition last week while restoration efforts continued in the art space located in Beyoilu districtand’s istiklal Avenue.
Featuring works of several painters, including the world-famous late Turkish artist Bedri Rahmi Eyanduboilu and his wife, Eren Eyanduboilu, the show is inspired by one of Italian painter and architect Giovanni Paolo Paniniand’s paintings and sets the template for how the building will be used from now on.
The Casa Garibaldi, also known as and”Societa Operaia Italiana di Mutuo Soccorso in Costantinopoli,and” was built as the headquarters of the Italian Workers Solidarity Association in 1863. These Italian workers were doing mostly architectural and construction works during the Ottoman Empire and decided to form an association and built the building themselves to use for their meetings and special events. Named after one of Italyand’s founding fathers and the first president of the association, Giuseppe Garibaldi, the building was also used as a library and theater hall for many years.
When the number of Italians living in the city decreased significantly, the association started to let various art institutions use it. For instance, Dirimart Gallery sometimes used the building for a screening hall and featured several breathtaking art videos. However, the old building was in need of an extensive restoration. Art historian and architect Dr. Sedat Bornovali, who has been involved with several other restoration projects of historic buildings in Istanbul, suggested to the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TanduRSAB) and the Italian State to conduct the restoration process himself and convert the building into a living cultural space.
Bornovali stated during an interview with Todayand’s Zaman during the two-day exhibition that they wanted to find a way to start using the building as a cultural hotspot. Telga Sandudor Mendi, the manager of Gallery Diana based in Istanbuland’s KadikandOy district, came up with this exhibition, titled and”In the traces of Giovanni Paolo Panini.and” With the efforts of Mendi who was born in Italy and has been working as a cultural bridge between Turkey and Italy throughout her life, the two-day exhibition featured two paintings by Bedri Rahmi Eyanduboilu that were newly restored and presented for the first time. The other artists include Eren Eyanduboilu, Hale Sontai, Yusuf Katipoilu, Ursula Katipoilu, Aydin Ayan, Francesco Borzani, Feyzan Alasya and Kaan Kayimoilu. Also two paintings by Gandulseren Sandudor and Teoman Sandudor, whose work has featured in many exhibitions in Turkey and Italy, put two paintings into the restoration site two months ago and the artworks will be sent for restoration because of the dust they collected over this time, just like the building itself. As to the showand’s display, the organizers decided to use the method of displaying the artworks just like in a painting by Panini, who lived in the beginning of the 18th century in Italy. A large reproduction version of the painting is also displayed across the other artworks in the main hall of the Casa Garibaldi.
Due to security reasons, only press members and a very small number of people were allowed to see this exhibition but art lovers will be able to use the building very soon since Bornovali stated that they hope to finish the restoration by the end of this summer and TanduRSAB promised to use the building only for artistic events, not for other tourism purposes.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman