Bringing ancient Hagia Sophia to life: Best practices and case study on high quality tour content creation

Exhibitor Briefing
Can Turkseven, Cultrex LLC, UK, Turkey, Can Turkseven, Cultrex LLC, UK, Turkey

The concept used in publishing is very valid for museums or cultural institutions as well: “Content is King”. So, the question becomes “how to best present the king to the audience”. After all, communication is not just what you tell, it is what others understand.

Guides in any shape or form (human guide, audioguide, or audioguide apps) try to bridge the gap between the curator and the visitors, by providing detailed information. The question still remains though, how to best “tell the story of the artwork”. This requires a fine balance between fact vs. fiction, detailed vs. interesting, complex vs. easy to understand.

In this interactive session, we will cover a successful real-life example, based on Istanbul’s magnificent Hagia Sophia. Having served as a church for 900 years, as a mosque for 500 years, and as a museum for over 80 years, Hagia Sophia has a very rich but complex story to tell. It is difficult to tell this story without any controversies, or without separating myth from the truth. The session will cover the methods successfully applied in content creation, challenges addressed, tips and lessons learned using a successful real life example. We will review best practices for text, high quality pictures, narration and 3D animation based on extensive experience and feedback. The methodologies developed in cooperation with leading museum experts, academics and artists will be presented and discussed.