Maiden Tower art festival closed in Baku
By Nigar Orujova
The traditional fifth International Festival of Arts "Maiden Tower" came to an end in Baku.
A closing ceremony was attended by Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Founder and Head of IDEA Public Association Leyla Aliyeva, and Arzu Aliyeva.
This traditional festival, which was held in front of the Maiden Tower, the ancient part of Baku's Old City, was held on May 7-9.
The festival aimed primarily to contribute to promotion of the Maiden Tower, one of the most ancient and mysterious monuments in Azerbaijan, and to familiarize international artists with Azerbaijan's art and culture.
Moreover, the festival draws attention to threatened animals in Azerbaijan and the region. This year the organizers have put their focus on gazelle - one of the most beautiful animals in Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus, now facing the danger of extinction.
During the festival, 28 well-known artists from 26 countries worked in the open air before the eyes of art lovers and passers-by.
Every year artists representing different countries attend the festival, which expands the geography of this celebration of arts, and makes an important contribution to intercultural dialogue.
Portraying the tower's mockups in their national styles, local and foreign artists reflected the synthesis of different cultures and traditions, which extend the exhibition's conceptual borders with new thematic components.
For three years, the festival was held in Baku, once it was held in the French city of Cannes. In these years, the festival was attended by over 70 renowned artists from around the world.
This year's festival introduced a 3D drawing, one of the most popular types of street art. This three-dimensional optical illusion presents the old city view from the top of the Maiden Tower.
Addressing the meeting, Samir Nuriyev, head of the State Historical-Architectural Reserve "Icherisheher" said, "I believe this festival was very successful because it allowed the artists who came from different countries, to bring each other the messages of love, peace and understanding."
Festival coordinator Emin Mammadov highlighted this international project, which celebrated its fifth anniversary this year saying it attracted attention and gathered the world's most famous artists in a short time.
He noted the layouts of Maiden Tower and gazelles, which turned into inimitable works of art, first will be demonstrated in the Old City of Baku, and then will represent Azerbaijani culture and history in other countries.
Egyptian artist Mohamed Abouelnaga said, "By participating in such a great show, we discovered Azerbaijan, and made new friends. I believe this festival will be held traditionally, and each time will captivate people with its innovations."
Baku residents and visitors will be acquainted with the beautiful works until the end of summer.
The international art festival was held with the organizational support and special initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Administration of State Historical-Architectural Reserve "Icherisheher", International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA), Museum of Modern Art, and "Maiden Tower" art gallery.