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Major renovation efforts worth around 10 million Turkish Liras at Istanbul’s historic Topkapı Palace have started, after deep crevices were found in the treasury room of the Ottoman-era palace in July.

The discovery of the crevices prompted the partial closure of the Ottoman-era palace to tourists.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry had noted that serious cracks on the basement floor and static deformations in the treasury walls went “beyond the crack area and reached the discrete and slit levels.” The ministry risk analysis came after parts of a wall in the nearby Gülhane Park collapsed in April, killing two people and injuring five others.

Measurements were made at the foundation of the building and on its walls to determine the cause of the cracks. Efforts for the static strengthening measurements started last week.

The work comes after palace authorities asked for a detailed examination from the Istanbul 4th Protection Committee, which found that the issue stemmed from ground-based problems.

The expert report said the concrete cover used for the mansion’s dome and ceilings between 1940 and 1960 had put excessive weight on the building, which had reached the point of collapse along with seismic activities that periodically occur in the Marmara Sea.

Authorities say that in its current situation, the building would not survive a 5.0-magnitude earthquake and that a rapid intervention is necessary.

It has also been found that the archive and depot sections suffered from similar problems to the treasury, so the renovation team decided to open drilling and inspection holes in order to carry out soil investigation efforts. Officials will determine how to strengthen the ground after investigating why the ground deformations occurred.

The evaluation of instrumental observations and static results in order to strengthen the ground will cover a six month period.

In line with the renovation process, vibrations in the ground via drilling and inspection holes will be recorded at a total of 26 different points. The renovation work is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Istanbul will be treated to the sounds of Beethoven this December as the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra (BIPO) performs works from the classical master later this week.

The orchestra will be performing a number of concerts of Beethoven’s works until Dec. 21. As part of the event, Zeynep Tanbay’s latest project based on Beethoven’s String Instruments Quartet, “Symbiosis,” will be on stage for a world premiere. The dance performance’s music will be performed by the Borusan Quartet live at the event. A number of international musicians will be in town for the concerts, which will take place at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center and Concert Salon in Harbiye.

The BIPO will be conducted by Sascha Goetzel with famous soloists. On Dec. 18 BIPO will play Beethoven’s “3rd Symphony Violin Concerto Op. 61,” together with violin virtuoso Christian Tetzlaff. The following day will feature Alexei Volodin, the 2003 winner of the 9th Concours Géza Anda in Zurich, who will interpret Beethoven’s “5th Piano Concerto” as BIPO plays the famous “5th Symphony.” Volodin has worked with conductors like Riccardo Chailly, Mikhail Pletnev, Eiji Oue, Gerd Albrecht, Carlo Rizzi, Zoltan Kocsis, David Zinman, Valery Gergiev and Vladimir Fedoseyev, among others.

On Dec 21, BIPO will host Alois Glassner’s Salzburg Bach Choir and soprano Ruth Ziesak, mezzosoprano Daniela Lehner, tenor Richard Croft and bassist David Soar. Ziesak is famous for her appearances in performances of Mozart’s operas, such as Pamina in “The Magic Flute” at the Salzburg Festival 1991 and recorded with Georg Solti, Servilia in “La clemenza di Tito,” which was recorded with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, or the Countess in “Il nozze di Figaro” at Glyndebourne with the Zurich Opera.

The event will also include a world premiere of the Zeynep Tanbay Dance Project alongside the Borusan Quartet. Tanbay’s new performance, “Symbiosis,” marks a return to the stage for the dancer and choreographer after a hiatus of two-and-a-half years. Tanbay reassembled her company for a commission she received from the Beethoven Festival, which was launched this year by Borusan Culture and Arts.

The Beethoven Festival is taking on a totally new dimension with the world premiere of Tanbay’s project, which is choreographed to a selection of the composer’s great String Quartets.

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