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.
Inauguration of the exhibition “Azerbaijan: A Land of Traditions and Future” took place, June 10, in the French city of Cannes. The exhibition was organized within the framework of the Days of Azerbaijani Culture being held with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Azerbaijan's First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva and Vice-president of the Foundation Leyla Aliyeva participated in the ceremony.
Claire-Ann Rex, the director of the Festivals and Congress Palace of Cannes, where the event took place, mentioned that this was the second time Azerbaijan was successfully presented in Cannes, and valued it as a significant event in the city’s life. Claire-Ann Rex said tourists coming to the city showed much interest towards these events.
Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the ceremony:
- Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends.
Welcome to the inauguration of the exhibition devoted to Azerbaijan. Over twenty years Azerbaijan and France have been cooperating in all spheres. This cooperation is based on mutual respect, friendship and interests.
The meeting of the heads of the states of Azerbaijan and France within the framework of the visit by French President Francois Hollande to Azerbaijan in May this year once more proved these relations being of strategic nature. In this context, I would like to mention the Friends of Azerbaijan Association. We welcome and support the establishment of this association. The Association has gathered around itself friends of Azerbaijan, and members of the Association are conveying the truth about Azerbaijan to the French society. I welcome here Chairperson of the Association Mr Jean-Francois Manselle and would like to express my sincere gratitude to him. I’m also very pleased to see here one of the most active members of the Association and true friend of Azerbaijan Mrs Rashida Dati. I’m hopeful the number of the association members will grow further. I wish you every success in your endeavours.
At the same time, economic relations between Azerbaijan and France are becoming stronger year-by-year. Our countries have built partnership relations in the spheres of telecommunication, town-building, transport, light industry, wine-making etc. Over 50 French companies are operating in Azerbaijan, and this brings bilateral benefit. Azerbaijan has been a main trade partner of France in the South Caucasus. The trade turnover with France is about two billion US Dollars.
We carefully approach the humanitarian sphere, which has centuries-long united people regardless of their language and religion. I’m very happy to have witnessed the relations between Azerbaijan and France rise to a new level. Hundreds of Azerbaijani students are studying today at higher schools of France, and in a number of French universities the language and history of Azerbaijan are taught. At the same time, a French lycée has been built and is operating in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital. The state of Azerbaijan participated in the restoration of the Islamic Art Department of the Louvre Museum, and due to the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s endeavours, the Cathedral in Strasbourg and historical and architectural monuments in other regions of France were restored.
With the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, a number of exhibitions, concerts and other events representing the culture of Azerbaijan, the pearl of the Caucasus, were held in the French capital and twenty other cities. Scientific conferences devoted to the life and creativity of great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi and poetess Mahsati Ganjavi were held in Paris. The conference hall of the faculty of philology at l'Université de Haute-Alsace ( Mulhouse) was reconstructed and the hall was named after Mahsati Ganjavi. I’m sure all these steps taken have made our nations and countries closer, and helped to establish more and closer friendly relations. In this context, I would like to specifically mention the Days of Azerbaijani Culture held last year in the city of Cannes. I’m very glad all our events in the city of Cannes, one of the most beautiful cities of France, were welcomed with much interest and respect. We very much loved this city and we would like to hold our cultural days traditionally in this city. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all who have helped and supported us in all our events, especially former mayor of the city of Cannes Mr Bernard Brochand and new mayor David Lisnard.
Dear Friends, I would like to once more express my deep respect and love for your country and wish all of you to enjoy your evening. And now, please make yourselves acquainted with the exhibition.
X X X
After the address by member of the French National Assembly, chairperson of the Friends of Azerbaijan Association Jean-Francois Monselle, acquaintance with the exhibition started.
The objective of organizing the exhibition “Azerbaijan: A Land of Traditions and Future”, which unites a few exhibitions, is to promote Azerbaijan’s old and rich history and culture.
In one of the sections of the exhibition are presented works by Azerbaijani artists Khalida Safarova and Kamil Najafzadeh. With the collection of over 50 works, the exposition has been devoted to France. The works in the section “France Trough the Eyes of Azerbaijani Artists” picture this country, its regions and capital.
All directions of Azerbaijan’s carpet school have been represented at the exhibition, with hundreds year-old carpets and carpet products.
Within the framework of the Days of Azerbaijani Culture, residents of the city of Cannes and guests of the city gained the chance to acquaint themselves with ancient copper art samples. They were also presented Azerbaijan’s national garments, national music instruments, as well as ceramic items found during archaeological diggings.
A separate section, as a continuation of the exhibitions organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in various countries on the occasion of the 870th jubilee of Nizami Ganjavi, is created at the exhibition.
Books, booklets and other publications of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation serving the promotion of Azerbaijan and its culture are also displayed in Cannes.
Then a concert by the State Chamber Orchestra named after Gara Garayev - conducted by People’s Artist Teymour Goychayev - took place at the Festivals Palace of Cannes.
The exhibition will continue until July 31st.