Mayor of the French city of Châlons-en-Champagne Bruno Bourg-Broc has described Azerbaijan as the pearl of the Caucasus, saying the country deserved being called so not only thanks to its oil and gas resources, but also for its rich cultural legacy.
Mr. Bourg-Broc spoke to an exhibition reflecting Azerbaijan`s culture and art, which opened in Châlons-en-Champagne as part of “Cultural Values of Azerbaijan – the Pearl of the Caucasus” project.
Organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and supported by the Azerbaijani embassy in Paris, the exhibition is aimed at familiarizing the French with Azerbaijan. Mr. Bourg-Broc said Azerbaijan, which was located on the crossroads of the East and the West, had been a full member of the Council of Europe since 2001.
The Châlons-en-Champagne Mayor said beautiful carpets and musical instruments featured at the exhibition testified to Azerbaijan`s ancient history.
He stressed Azerbaijan`s role in developing relations between different cultures and religions. He added the Azerbaijani Mugham was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Azerbaijani ambassador Elchin Amirbayov said a first event as part of “Cultural Values of Azerbaijan – the Pearl of the Caucasus” project was held in the French city of Reims, adding it was attended by first lady, president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva.
He praised the Azerbaijan-France relations. The ambassador recalled Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev`s recent visit to France and his meeting with French counterpart Francois Hollande, as well as the two presidents` attending the opening of the Islamic art department at Louvre.
Amirbayov said the opening of the Azerbaijani culture center in Paris during President Ilham Aliyev`s visit was a remarkable event, which would contribute to developing the cultural cooperation between the two countries.
The ambassador signed the guest book at the headquarters of the Châlons-en-Champagne Mayor. The exhibition features a variety of masterpieces of Azerbaijani copper-smiths and potters, as well as samples of national clothing and carpets.
The event ended with a concert of Mugham instrumental ensemble at Notre-Dame-en-Vaux church.