By Laman Ismayilova
Through the history, majestic Azerbaijani carpets have retained their high aesthetic and historic importance.
The Land of Fire boasts of incredibly diverse carpets that amaze everyone with their richness and unique variety of ornamental motifs.
Azerbaijan's carpet weaving art has been successfully demonstrated in France. The exhibition "Undiscovered new motifs in Azerbaijani carpentry" has solemnly opened at Gare Maritime pavilion in the heart of the city of Cannes as part of the Culture Days, Trend reported. The art project was organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
In his speech, executive director of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Anar Alakbarov highlighted the activities and projects held by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. He stressed Azerbaijani First Vice-President, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva's role in promoting Azerbaijani culture worldwide.
"A few days ago, the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee was held in Baku. The session made an important decision for our country. The historic center of Shaki, together with the Khan's Palace, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Shaki school of carpet weaving art is presented at today's exhibition in the city of Cannes," he said.
Alakbarov also provided an insight into the Foundation's large-scale humanitarian and social projects in France as well as its contribution to the restoration of historical monuments. He expressed his gratitude to all who contributed to the organization of this exhibition, including the carpet weavers, weaved carpets on display, and employees of the city of Cannes.
Speaking about the days of Azerbaijani culture in Cannes, which have already become traditional, Deputy Mayor of Cannes Frank Chikli said such projects contribute to the popularization of the country's cultural treasury, contribute to the further rapprochement of the two peoples and the enrichment of bilateral ties. He emphasized a special attention paid in Azerbaijan to the preservation of the ancient traditions.
The exhibition is a result of the more than two years of work by the Foundation. Some 13 rugs and carpet sketches by national artist Eldar Mikaylzade related to the Shaki group of Azerbaijani carpets are showcased as part of the exhibition.
In his sketches, the artist masterly depicted wall paintings, stained glass windows known as shebeke at the Shaki Khan Palace and the House of Shaki Khans.
During the exhibition, which will last until August 18, a catalog in French and English will be presented to visitors. Cannes residents and tourists visiting the exhibition will also be able to watch a documentary about the project.
Bright, colored and incredibly beautiful Azerbaijani carpets are divided into fleecy carpets and carpets without pile. The weaving of the carpets without pile dates to the earliest period of the art of weaving.
Men shear sheep in spring and autumn, while women collect dyestuffs and spin and dye yarn in the spring, summer and autumn. The carpets were usually woven by women and girl in winter.
In the second half of the 18th century in the northern part of Azerbaijan there were small feudal khanates - Shaki, Baku, Guba, Garabagh, Irevan, Ganja, Nakhchivan, and Shirvan. At this time, the production of carpets greatly expanded. Each khanate had its own carpet workshop. As a result, various carpet schools appeared in the territory of Azerbaijan.
The Land of Fire has seven carpet producing regions including Baku, Shirvan, Guba, Tabriz, Karabakh, Ganja and Gazakh and each of them had its own technology, typical patterns and colors.
According to their technical aspects, national carpets are classified as flat-woven (pileless) and knotted (pile). The flat-woven carpets are linked to the earlier period of carpet weaving. There are several kinds of pileless carpets such as Shadda, Verni, Jejim, Zilli, Sumakh, Kilim and Palas.
Nowadays Azerbaijani carpets are stored at the world-famous museums and private collections.
Thanks to the care of the country, on November 10, 2010, the Azerbaijani carpet art was included into the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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