By Laman Ismayilova
Shirin Melikova, Director of the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, Chair of ICOM Azerbaijan National Committee, Honored Worker of Culture, took part in the presentation of the Quality Mark by World Crafts Council (WWC) on August 15-22 at the invitation of Dinara Chochunbaeva, UNESCO expert on Intangible Cultural Heritage, Founder of the Central Asian Crafts Support Association.
At the event, Melikova was elected as a member of the International Jury. Dinara Chochunbaeva (Kyrgyzstan), Edik Onk (Malaysia) and Ajan Bekkulova (Kazakhstan) were also on the jury.
More than a hundred artists from Central Asian countries were nominated for the WWC.
“The prize was awarded to products that received a rigorous multi-stage selection. Suzane and gulebetin embroideries, metal, ceramics, wood, lacquer and jewelry works, felt products, specimens of traditional costume, as well as the author works made in traditional technique such as clothing and accessories, are among them. In total, forty-six products have received the Quality Mark,” said the Museum Director.
She also added that nowadays handicrafts in Central Asia are reviving their popularity.
“Handicraft movement in the countries of Central Asia is gaining momentum. In all countries of this region, ancient handicrafts are being revived - the whole family, young and old alike, is engaged in them. Thanks to the invaluable work of the devotees of this great cause, these crafts feed tens of thousands of families, developing the economy and promoting their culture throughout the world,” said Melikova.
Notably, artisans who have received the Quality Mark get the right to sell their products not only within the country but abroad.
Melikova also held several meetings within the framework of her visit. She visited the gold stitch embroidery factory in Bukhara and got acquainted with their work, materials and embroidery technique as well. Forty women work at the factory. Moreover, this factory also cooperates with home-workers.
During the visit, Melikova visited the workshop of the prominent representative of the Gijduvan ceramics school of Uzbekistan Abdullo Nazrullayev, located near Bukhara. In Nazrullayev family this craft is passed down through generations. There is a gallery, presented with a range of products, and a museum with ancient samples of pottery at the workshop.
She stressed an opportunity for organizing a joint exhibition of the Carpet Museum and this institution, dedicated to the art of ceramics and embroidery.
Melikova also met with Abdulhamid Badjisi, Head of the Samarkand Carpets Factory "Samarkand and Bukhara Silk Carpets." He elaborated on the methods of factory work, its staff recruitment, and training programs on dyeing and weaving. Shirin Melikova got acquainted with the Azerbaijani carpets, kept in the factory’s collection.
The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum was created in 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.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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