By Nigar Orujova
An exhibition and a concert devoted to the 900th jubilee of Mahsati Ganjavi took place in Melouse, France on December 10.
A number of cultural events were recently held as part of the 900th anniversary of Azerbaijan's first poetess and chess player with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in France.
Concert host Allen Tremolier mentioned that Azerbaijan had produced geniuses in the world of literature and music, saying women were granted the right to vote, and the first theatre, opera, ballet, and national academy in the Muslim Orient were created in Azerbaijan.
Along with its subsoil resources, Azerbaijan had a rich historical and cultural heritage, Tremolier added.
He stated that cultural ties between Azerbaijan and France have unique historical roots.
"Great French poet Alexander Duma's (the father) trip to Azerbaijan in the second half of the 19th century, translation by George Sand of famous "Koroghlu" epic poem into French, publication of the collection "The Caucasus" at the beginning of the 19th century in Paris, Azerbaijani writer Umbulbanu Asadullayeva's living and writing in France, and, finally, the meeting of Charles de-Gaulle, who has played a significant part in the public and political life of France, with French hero Ahmadiyya Jabrayilov are bright examples of the friendship between our peoples," Tremolier said.
"Historically established friendly ties continue today, and they have become stronger due to the organizational support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The cultural events held by the Foundation in France to acquaint the French more closely with Azerbaijan are worth appreciation. The exhibitions and concerts held last month in Reims, and today in Melouse, to mark the 900thjubilee of Azerbaijan's eminent poetess Mahsati Ganjavi are the continuation of the cultural events held by the Foundation in France."
He also spoke about Mahsati Ganjavi, who lived and created in Ganja, Azerbaijan's second largest city.
Speaking at the event, dean of the University of Upper Alsace Greta Komur-Thilloy talked about the main qualities of Mahsati Ganjavi's creativity, pointing out that works by the Azerbaijani poetess were about human ideas.
In his speech, Composer Pierre Thilloy, who created "Khojaly-613", informed the audience of the music instruments belonging to Azerbaijani people, who had an ancient and rich culture.
Following the opening ceremony, works by Azerbaijani composers, songs composed to lyrics by Mahsati Ganjavi, and samples of folk arts were performed by masters of art.
Afterwards, an exhibition organized on the anniversary of Mahsati Ganjavi opened at "Fundari" palace of France.
Opening the exhibition, rector of the University of Upper Alsace Christine Gangloff-Ziegler recalled her trip to Ganja and visiting Mahsati Ganjavi's monument.
She talked about cooperation perspectives between her university and the State Agrarian University, the Ganja State University, and the Azerbaijan Technology University, as well as the possibilities of exchanging students.
Mayor of the city Jean Rottner said organizing such exhibitions and concerts played a significant role in developing friendly ties between the two nations.
Rottner highly appreciated the cultural events held by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation to promote Azerbaijan in France, noting that, "along with economic relations in cooperation between our countries, cultural ties are of vital importance as well".
Azerbaijani Ambassador to France Elchin Amirbeyov informed the visitors about Mahsati Ganjavi's life and creativity.
Although 900 years have passed since the time when ideas and thoughts were given in the poetess's works, they still keep their relevance, he said. In order to introduce the poetess better to the world, her works were written into Farsi and Arabic and published in foreign languages by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Amirbeyov underlined that exhibits related to the poetess's period of life were demonstrated at the exhibitions organized in Paris, Reims, and Melouse. The exhibition in Melouse will continue till December 20.
Officials of the Melouse municipality and Alsace region, deputies, senators, representatives of the city public, and the representatives of the Azerbaijani and Turkish Diaspora attended the exhibition and concert.
Mahsati Ganjavi is considered a bright representative of the Muslim Orient.