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The Sabanci Memorial Sculpture in the Garden of the Sakip Sabanci Museum - Istanbul




The Medici Dynasty and the Sabanci Family share a common link across the centuries. The Medici fortunes sprang from Giovani di Bicci de Medici and were enlarged by his son Cosimo the elder known as ‘Pater Patriae’. That of the Sabanci were founded by Omer Haci Sabanci and consolidated by his second son Sakip Sabanci, one of Turkey’s leading personalities of the latter part of the 20th century and into the 21st.


Under his direction the Sabanci family have been major beneficiaries to the country in art, education and medical endowments in a tradition which had its roots in the founding of the secular republic by Kemal Ataturk.


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The bronze horse gifted to the Museum by the City of Venice, and a replica of one of the four horses in St Mark's Square in Venice which had originally been looted from the city of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204. The horse stands at the immediate entrance grounds to the Sakip Sabanci Museum

In 1997 that Cregeen sculpted Sakip Sabanci in his Istanbul offices...In the bronze bust the surface detail is handled in typical Cregeen style creating a highly expressive and warm portrait which very effectively portrays the personality of this greatly popular personality in Turkey.

Ten years later he was commissioned to sculpt a younger brother, Erol Sabaci, who for decades headed the banking division of the family business. The modelling of this portrait head is in striking contrast with its composed and more internalised qualities. This head along with a later scaled up version of the Sakip Sabanci bust, are both now located in the imposing entrance auditoriums of Sabanci Holdings in Istanbul. (fig.30).

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The Sabanci Family Memorial group close to the entrance of the Museum itself

In 2004 Sakip Sabanci invited Cregeen to make a proposal to design a memorial to his parents and brothers to be located in the grounds adjacent to the  Sakip Sabanci Museum‘s entrance....


The two parents and the six sons, depicted at an age commensurate with that of their parents, the busts were completed in strongly sculptural language with the surface detail portraying expressive likenesses.


Eight busts together form a single sculptural composition within a garden landscaped around them (fig-).


The sculptor between the portrait heads of Isan the eldest of the brothers on his right and Sakip Sabanci on his left

The Sabanci family commemorated here played a major part and contribution to the recent history and development of a modern Turkey Lit by the sun and with the changing light dappled by the adjacent olive trees the sculptures stand on granite plinths in a commanding presence and position overlooking the wide expanse of the Bosphorus."


(From Lois Katz-2018 DAVD CREGEEEN- HIS WORK)

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The Sabanci Family Memorial with the fountain to the front
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The Sabanci Family Memorial with the Sabanci parents Haci Omer Sabanci and Sadika Sabanci together in the front
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The sculptor with a friend Selma Taranto, showing her the Sabaci Memorial. The portrait head of Erol Sabanci is immediately in front of her followed by that of Haci Sabanci
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The Sabanci Family Memorial with the portrait heads of Sevget and Ozdemir to the left in the photo with  the last two in the circle beside Sakip Sabanci
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The view over the Bospherous from the Museum Gardens
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