By Sara Israfilbayova
Carpet weaving is one of the oldest arts and crafts of Azerbaijan, which is immense in the richness and diversity of its nature and art.
The data of archaeological research conducted on the territory of Azerbaijan, monuments of literature testify that the art of carpet weaving originated in Azerbaijan since ancient times.
The year 2017 was a remarkable year for the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum - its 50th anniversary was marked by numerous international symposiums, conferences and seminars, as well as master classes, lectures in various subjects, round tables and trainings.
More than 80,000 people visited the center of culture, the director of the museum, the chairman of the ICOM Azerbaijan, the doctor of philosophy in art criticism Shirin Melikova told Trend.
“On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, its collection was replenished with another exhibit - the rare beauty of Azerbaijani 18th century embroidery, bought at a foreign auction by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and donated to the museum. And for the first time in the history of the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum in 2017, the museum bought one of the exhibits by itself at a foreign auction,” she stressed.
“This is a unique carpet “Shamakhy”, purchased from the Austrian auction company - it was previously stored in France in a personal collection. It belongs to the most ancient exhibits at the moment. In the past two years, the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum has purchased 44 artifacts, including carpets, national costumes, ornaments, batik and embroidery, items from archaeological excavations, some of which were bought, others donated to the museum,” she underlined.
In 2017, the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum received the “Certificate of Quality” as the best museum of the year on the TripAdvisor website, and also ranked among the 40 nominees for the “Best Museum of Europe” award and has a great chance to win this award in 2018.
During the year, well-known magazines issued publications about Azerbaijani carpets. Work continued to promote and popularize the Azerbaijani carpets at the international level, which are the material and spiritual heritage of Azerbaijani culture and national wealth.
Promotion and popularization works of Azerbaijani carpets were continued at the international level.
The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum was created on March 13, 1967. From 1967 to 1993, the museum was called the Azerbaijan State Museum of Carpet and Folk Applied Arts, from 1993 to 2014 - State Museum of Carpet and Applied Arts named after Latif Karimov, from 2014 to the present time the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum.
The first exposition was presented on April 26, 1972 in the building of the Juma Mosque, an architectural monument of the 19th century, located in the Icherisheher – Old City.
The museum has become a research-training and cultural-educational center where many events, such as exhibitions, international symposiums, and conferences, are held. During its 50 years of existence, the museum has organized more than 30 exhibitions in different countries throughout the world.
In 2004, a law on the Preservation and Development of Azerbaijan Carpet was enacted with the museum’s participation. The law aimed to implement the registration of Azerbaijan carpets, protect and support their development, and coordinate scientific and methodical training.
In 2010, the Azerbaijan Carpet Weaving Art was included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity through the assistance of the First Lady, Mehriban Aliyeva.
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