Russia hosts exhibition devoted to Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev [PHOTO]
By Laman Ismayilova
An exhibition dedicated to Azerbaijani philanthropist and oil magnate Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev has opened in Russia, Azernews reports, citing Trend Life.
The exhibition is titled "Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev- industrialist and philanthropist. The role of personality in the history of Russia and Azerbaijan" was organized in Khanty-Mansiysk by the Russian Museum of Geology, Oil and Gas and the Azerbaijani National History Museum.
Fuad Agayev, a researcher at the Department of International Relations and Public Relations at the National History Museum, welcomed the guests of the event on behalf of the director-general of the museum, Academician Naila Valixanli.
Fuad Agayev spoke about Taghiyev's social, educational and charitable activities and major work carried out by the National History Museum to research and popularize his legacy.
Ivan Yashkov, Deputy Director for Research at the Museum of Oil and Gas Geology, Candidate of Geographical Sciences, stressed the importance of the exhibition.
He also provided insight into future projects, including international exhibitions, online scientific, educational, and interactive projects, to be held jointly by the two museums.
Then, Fuad Agayev, on behalf of the National History Museum, presented Artur Latipov, Director of the Department of Culture of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Ugra, with the publications of the museum "Tagiyev's Palace" and "Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev in photographs".
Born in a poor family of a shoemaker in Icharishahar, the old part of Baku, on January 25, 1821 (1838), Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev had to work from childhood to support his family.
He began his life journey as an apprentice of a bricklayer in Baku. Taghiyev's dedication and hard work ensured quick professional advancement and at the age of 18, he became a contractor.
In 1873, along with his partners, Taghiyev rented a plot of land near the oil-booming town of Bibi-Heybat, a few kilometers to the southeast of Baku. They hired workers and started drilling for oil, but with no success. The partners gave up hope and decided to sell their shares.
Taghiyev purchased them and became the sole owner of the land. He continued drilling and paid workers despite all financial difficulties.
Finally, fortune smiled on him in 1877, when oil gushed out of the well with a mighty force. Oil gush instantly made him an oil baron and a millionaire.
One of the first things Taghiyev did after becoming wealthy was to surface the road between the city and his oilfield in Bibi-Heybat. He then extended the road onto the Bibi-Heybat mosque.
Taghiyev invested in many important projects such as the first textile factory and fisheries. He sponsored the first Azerbaijani National Theater (1883), the first Muslim School for Girls (1896), the first Technical School (1911) and covered all the expenses for the construction of what would later become the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater.
He also helped to solve the water crisis in the city by helping to finance the Shollar water pipeline (1916).
Baku's best-known philanthropist allocated 11,000 old roubles for the construction of the head office for the Muslim Benevolent Society in Saint Petersburg, 3,000 roubles for the education of Armenian orphans, 5,000 for the St. Nina's School for Girls in Baku, 10,000 roubles for the construction of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Baku, tens of thousands of roubles for the construction and repair of mosques and madrasas throughout Russia and Persia.
Taghiyev also provided scholarships for many talented young people who strove for higher education in prestigious Russian and European universities. He built a number of schools and gave a lot of attention to mosques since he considered them to be centers for enlightenment, culture, and science.
After Azerbaijan's "Sovietization" in 1920, the country's wealthy people suffered severe repressions from the Bolshevik government resulting in the emigration of many of them. Therefore, Tagiyev's house and his other possessions were confiscated. He was exiled to his summer house in Mardakan.
Tagiyev's heart stopped beating on September 1, 1924. People remember Tagiyev not only for his great wealth but for how he spent it.
For his outstanding contributions, Taghiyev was twice awarded the Order of Saint Stanislaus, as well as a number of other orders and medals from many countries.
In 2022, a statue of the national philanthropist and oil magnate was erected in Baku.
In 2020, President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva met with a group of art workers. President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on the erection of a statue of Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev.
Sculptor Khanlar Ahmadov's work has been chosen as the best among 26 projects that were submitted to the open sculpture contest initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Culture Ministry, and the Baku City Executive Authorities.
The three-meter monument is erected near the Icharishahar metro station.
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