By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva inaugurated several cultural facilities after restoration in Shusha, the country’s cultural capital, on August 29.
Poet Vagif’s museum and mausoleum complex
As part of the visit, they opened the museum and mausoleum complex of Azerbaijan’s great poet and public figure Molla Panah Vagif after being renovated and familiarized themselves with the work done.
As a result of the Armenian occupation of Shusha in 1992, the building of the complex and all the exhibits on display were destroyed. The repair and reconstruction began on orders from President Ilham Aliyev, who visited the mausoleum on January 14, on the day of its opening 39 years ago.
The mausoleum was repaired and reconstructed by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Starting from March 2021, the tomb was initially constructively inspected, reinforcement measures were studied on the required parts, and working projects were prepared within this framework.
On the basis of working projects, constructive restoration of elements with special chemical materials appointed by foreign experts was carried out, additional measures were taken against corrosion. The roof of the monument has also been reconstructed. Based on the information obtained as a result of topographic work, including the search of the area, along with the acquisition of broken, destroyed facade parts, architectural working projects were prepared to restore the original dimensions of the monument.
On the basis of these projects, the wall surfaces of the facade and interior were covered with marble and the historical appearance of the monument was restored.
Every detail of the monument has preserved its historical appearance. All the infrastructure of the monument complex has been reconstructed, drainage lines for rainwater and power lines have been laid and installed. In the landscape, the retaining walls and the square are covered with granite within the historical appearance. At the same time, various types of rose bushes were planted in the area, as reflected in the pictures of that time.
As part of the visit, the head of state and the first lady unveiled a bust of Molla Panah Vagif.
It was reported that the poet’s bronze bust prepared in 1957 was placed as a tombstone near the Cidir plain in 1958, and then moved to the poet's house in Shusha in 1976. Before the opening of Vagif's mausoleum in 1982, the bust and its surroundings were repaired, and the pedestal of the monument was changed. The bust was destroyed by Armenian vandals during Shusha’s occupation in 1992.
Under the presidential order, the monument was reconstructed in 2021 on the basis of a preliminary sketch project by its author, Honored Art Worker Hayat Abdullayeva.
With the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s support, the bronze bust was returned to its original place and installed near the house of Molla Panah Vagif in Shusha.
Vocalist Bulbul’s house museum
On August 29, Ilham Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva opened the renovated house museum of People's Artist Bulbul, who has made great contributions to the development of Azerbaijani music culture and played an important role in the formation and evolution of the professional vocal school in Shusha.
The famous musician was born in this house, which has been operating as a house museum since 1982 and spent his childhood here.
Before the occupation, the museum displayed pictures of Bulbul's childhood, some of his personal belongings, including his harp. The museum has about 9,000 documents reflecting Bulbul's creative, research, pedagogical and social activities. It also featured materials confirming Bulbul's many years of fruitful creative work in creating a new vocal school in Azerbaijan, studying and promoting folk music.
The house museum was closed in 1992 during the First Karabakh War due to Armenian vandalism.
The repair carried out at the museum on the instruction of Aliyev, who visited the house museum during his visit to Shusha on January 14, has already been completed.
During the restoration, two inscriptions in the Arabic alphabet and a symbol of the sun were found on the walls of the balcony. One of the inscriptions mentions a verse from the Qur'an, and the other mentions the date of construction of the house. A newly-discovered inscription on the wall shows that the building was built in 1788. Due to its typological affiliation, the building reflects the characteristics of the historical residential buildings of Karabakh and Azerbaijan, the interior of the rooms is typical of traditional houses in Azerbaijan.
The yard belonging to Bulbul's house museum has been restored, preserving its original appearance.
At present, a museum exposition of Bulbul has been set up in the building. A new bust of Bulbul was erected in the yard of the house museum.
The bust of Bulbul, which was vandalized during the occupation of Shusha, was kept as it is to demonstrate Armenian savagery.
Composer Uzeyir Hajibayli’s statue, house museum
President Aliyev and First Vice-President Aliyeva also unveiled a statue of prominent Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibayli in Shusha on August 29.
It should be noted that a statue of the composer was erected in Shusha in 1985 on the occasion of his 100th birthday anniversary. The monument, designed by sculptor Ahmad Salikov, was completely destroyed in 1992 during the First Karabakh War by Armenian vandals.
A new statue of the composer has been made on President Aliyev’s instruction.
The new monument was created on the basis of photos published in the press of that time and kept in the archives.
The bronze statue was erected in Shusha with the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s support. The monument was designed by sculptors Aslan Rustamov, Teymur Rustamov, Mahmud Rustamov.
Aliyev and Aliyeva also reviewed the work to be carried out at Uzeyir Hajibayli's house-museum in Shusha.
The house-museum of Hajibayli, a prominent composer, founder of our professional music and national opera, operated in Shusha before the Armenian occupation.
As a result of the savagery of the Armenian occupying forces, only about 100 of the 1,700 exhibits related to the life and work of the great composer survived in the museum, and the rest were destroyed. It was noted that the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has prepared a project on the work to be carried out in the house museum.
After the work to be carried out in the house museum, the museum's exhibits taken to Baku in 1992 will be placed here. These are photos, letters, scores, and personal belongings of Uzeyir Hajibayli.
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