We've been setting this exhibition up for nearly two years. I believe that its language – the language of Art – eloquently conveys the great accomplishments our country has made in all spheres of achievement.
The days of culture entitled “Azerbaijan in Cannes” was launched in the French city of Cannes, July 4th. Azerbaijan’s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva and the Foundation’s Vice-president Leyla Aliyeva attended the inauguration of the Days of Culture, which took place with organizational support from the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and our country’s Embassy in France.
Works on introducing Azerbaijan’s culture in Cannes started with installation of banners and posters popularizing our country in various places of Cannes.
The first event – inauguration of the 4th International “Maiden Tower” Festival – took place in La Croisette. Mehriban Aliyeva, mayor of the city of Cannes, deputy, Bernard Brochan, deputy UN Director General, head of UNITAD Philippe Douste-Blazy were present at the inauguration ceremony.
Delivering a speech at the event, mayor of the city of Cannes Bernard Brochan said he was pleased with demonstration of the Azerbaijani culture in this city, and welcomed Mehriban Aliyeva, who arrived in Cannes to participate in the events. He expressed confidence that the events to be held in the following days will have success.
Greeting the guests, Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva said our country’s old history, rich culture and traditions will be presented during the Days of Azerbaijani Culture launched in the city of Cannes. Leyla Aliyeva noted that the days of culture started with the exhibition of Maiden Tower.
“This is the “Maiden Tower” international exhibition, which five years ago started in Baku. Artists from 50 countries of the world have participated in this exhibition to paint pictures on these “Maiden Tower” mock-ups. It is a historical monument and dates back to the 9th century A.D. You see here also a statue of a gazelle. This is one of the directions of IDEA’s – International Dialogue for Environmental Action - activity. Its objective is to focus attention on endangered species” - said Leyla Aliyeva.
This project of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation devoted to the popularization of the Maiden Tower, a monument of global significance, which has been entered by UNESCO on the List of World Cultural Heritage, first time took place in 2010 in Baku, and during 3 consecutive years it was presented to the audience. With the 4th festival being held beyond the borders of Azerbaijan, over 40 artists from around the world have taken part in this festival. The primary factor of the “Maiden Tower” exhibition-festival is picturing various ideas on mock-ups of this historical monument. Decorating mock-ups of the tower in their national styles, local and foreign artists reflected the synthesis of different cultures and traditions, and mutual exchange thereof. Therefore, the exhibition’s conceptual thinking borders are extremely broad and comprehensive.
One of the features of the exhibition that draws attention is that a new component has been added to the promotion of the Maiden Tower in Cannes. Showing special attention to protection of the environment, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has demonstrated in Cannes the project it had held by decorating mock-ups of gazelles facing the peril of extinction. In general, Maiden Tower compositions of 26 artists and gazelle compositions of 17 artists are presented to visitors.
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In the second part of the day, the inauguration of the project “Cultural Values of Azerbaijan – the Pearl of the Caucasus” took place at the Palace of Festivals, where each year an international movie festival is held in Cannes.
In an exhibition attended by Mehriban Aliyeva and mayor of Cannes Bernard Brochan, exhibits related to our country’s old and rich history and culture are displayed. All directions of the Azerbaijani carpet-making school, wide variety of hundred years old carpets and carpet products have been presented in an exposition arranged in the exhibition hall of the Palace of Festivals.
Our national garments, samples of ancient coppersmith art, national music instruments, books, booklets and other various publications of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation serving the popularization of our country and its culture are also displayed at the exhibition. In the section of the exhibition called “Emotions”, well-known artists have presented samples of the contemporary Azerbaijani art.
Mehriban Aliyeva delivered a speech at the ceremony.
Mayor of the city of Cannes Bernard Brochan said this exhibition once more proves that Azerbaijan was a secular state with rich culture. According to him, the inauguration of the exhibition in Cannes has aroused much interest towards Azerbaijan – the pearl of the Caucasus.
At the evening, a dinner was given on the occasion of the inauguration of the Days of Azerbaijani Culture in Cannes.
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Then the official inauguration of the international pyrotechnics festival, wich is held annually in Cannes, took place. Official opening of this festival was made by Azerbaijan. The fireworks organized on this occasion started with sounding of the state anthem of Azerbaijan. Works by Azerbaijani composers were performed at the ceremony. The fireworks finished with Muslim Magomayev’s “Azerbaijan” song.