Jewish Journal

One-Time Matzo Factory in Istanbul is Now an Arts Center

by Ruth Ellen Gruber

May 3, 2012 | 2:15 am

Many former synagogues in Europe have been turned into arts and culture centers…. but here’s a new twist: a contemporary arts center in Istanbul in a former matzo factory. (There is a former matzo bakery in Pitigliano, Italy, that forms part of a Jewish museum complex.)

The New Yorker runs a blog piece on the place, which is associated with the SALT Galata art space:

A lot of people don’t know that, for nearly thirty years, Istanbul had its own working matzo factory, or that Istanbul still has its own non-working matzo factory. Known in Turkish as the “doughless oven,” located in Galata, on the northern bank of the Golden Horn, it has been given over to the arts. I recently went there to see “An Attempt at Exhausting a Place,” an exhibit by four young Turkish-Jewish artists. [...] The factory was set off from the street in a courtyard. Kosher Turkish pastrami hung peacefully from a doorway. In a white room, the dormant twenty-one-meter-long matzo machine was silently gathering dust. I walked around its perimeter, wondering which end the matzo had come out of.

Read more here.

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The award-winning American writer Ruth Ellen Gruber has chronicled contemporary Jewish developments in Europe for more than two decades. As the author of National Geographic...

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