Heidi Trautmann

946: Thank you for ARUCAD, Erbil Arkin - Opening evening

Opening of the ARKIN University of Creative Arts and Design

 By Heidi Trautmann


It was to a big crowd of several hundred guests that ARUCAD,  the new ‘University of Creative Art and Design’ was introduced on 20 October 2017, in a beautiful setting that reminded me of receptions that I attended in colonial times in countries such as Angola in the 1960s. It was due to the beauty of the inner courtyard surrounded by the freshly renovated buildings with two giant impressive sculptures by Maurice Blik placed in a monumental water basin in which water lilies were floating. I will give my impression on the private Erbil Arkin art collections in a separate report.

Sinan Arkin, one of the directors, gave the first speech with very meaningful words on the necessity of art education that correspond with the ideas of artists and art lovers in the country. Robert Bowman from Bowman Sculpture, advisor in art collections and friend to Erbil Arkin spoke about the breathtaking sculptures that were given by Erbil Arkin from his private collection to celebrate the opening of the university. We heard words of greetings from Prof. Dr. Bruno Cora, Rector of ARUCAD sent from Italy and shown on screen, followed by words of criticism of the past and vision for the future, the Assistant Rector Prof. Dr.Ümit Inatçı has for the university. Dr. Sibel Siber, Speaker of the Parliament, spoke of her involvement in the arts and her longtime wish for a Museum for contemporary art; we had often talked about it.

Officially opened it finally was by Erbil Arkin himself who with very humble words spoke of his art education and he confessed that he bitterly regretted not to have taken the diploma and that for this reason he had wanted to create  the opportunity of excellent art education for the young people of his country of birth.

Here some paragraphs of the speeches which give a clear image of the vision the team of the new university have in mind.

Above all, ARUCAD is an institution of higher education and, as such, it aims to endow upon its students two fundamental qualities and skills. One of these is the critical, revolutionary and creative world view that naturally comes with an art education. The second, which is at least as important as the first, is craftsmanship.

It will be the only institution in the region and one of the few in the world where such a wide range of design and production facilities reside in the same place. I would like to emphasize that these facilities will not only be open to the use of the students and lecturers of the university, but also to the wider public.

Through its certificate programmes open to the public, its museums, the design and production services it will provide to private companies and government institutions and the organization of art events. ARUCAD will be culturally and economically tightly integrated with the society. The emphasis we give to our physical facilities is surpassed by the importance we place on the selection of our academic staff.

…when we look at our social, cultural and educational experiences of art, we can see that this knowledge or notion is not recognized as much as it should be. Our weaknesses in institutionalization of art, and our spiritual insensitivity in a capitalistic world, have caused a depreciation in the value and also in the status of the art and the artist….ARUCAD will take its place not only in higher education but also in social life as an institution of high culture the will be a remedy to these concerns and questions.


To visually show and prove the high quality Erbil Arkin has in mind for the university, he has brought his collection of sculptures on display in the premises of the university, famous and beautiful sculptures by master Auguste Rodin, his lover Camille Claudel and friends Carrier-Belleuse and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux.  An other part of his collection are works by Maurice Blik, powerful demonstration of victory over oneself.


Erbil Arkin and the new team showed the audience which came to the opening and to the visitors that will come in the future that aesthetics in our life, our environment, our behavior is the basic requirement for a fruitful education in general and in the arts. We could all witness and feel it, when he said….

...Art & Civilization are ONE, this is the slogan the new university….


The public is invited to visit the exhibition during one month daily from 09:00 – 21:00 hrs.


For further information

Tel. 0090 (392) 444 5152

0090 (533) 821 2424



and for information on the university


PS: The architect of ARUCAD is Ertuğ Ertuğrul



Sinan Arkin delivered the speech of introduction
Sinan Arkin delivered the speech of introduction

Prof. Dr. Bruno Cora speaking from Italy
Prof. Dr. Bruno Cora speaking from Italy

Prof. Dr. Ümit Inatçı
Prof. Dr. Ümit Inatçı

Dr. Sibel Siber
Dr. Sibel Siber

Erbil Arkin
Erbil Arkin

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