A presentation of folk art capitals of Azerbaijan was held at the Museum Center in Baku on March 4.
Addressing the audience, Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfaz Garayev said activities within the framework of the "Capitals of folk art in 2010-2014" program are held as a tradition.
"The project is of great interest in the region. It creates a competitive atmosphere among regions, as the intangible cultural heritage of Azerbaijan consists of not only the legends, but also folks and crafts. The project has left a good mark in the hearts of people and this necessitates the continuation of the project.
"Activities on regional, national, and international levels have been held in the capitals of folk art during the year," he said.
The intangible cultural heritage of Azerbaijani people is the center of attention of the Azerbaijani government, Garayev said, adding that the 8th Session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was successfully held in Baku in December 2013.
Moreover, the program which was approved by President Ilham Aliyev in last December, for restoring and protecting immovable historical and cultural monuments during 2014-2020 will also be a great support for these activities.
It should be noted that the ancient intangible cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, being one of the main sources forming the mentality and consciousness of the nation for thousands of years, is also a unique phenomenon, covering achievements of the folk art.
The ministry has launched reform plans to protect and support the intangible cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, taking into account advanced international experiences.
Monitoring of mechanisms in this area was conducted, and the State Program on protection of intangible cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, associated with restoration, protection, and overall development of the intangible cultural heritage, was prepared and submitted to relevant bodies.
Garayev further said that a number of projects, including the creation of a catalog of Azerbaijani intangible cultural heritage, are being implemented in line with the reform plans. Furthermore, a portfolio of such a heritage is being created along with a state cadastre of its infrastructure units. International cultural tours on folk music Mugham, national carpet, and national holiday Novruz will be conducted as well.
Moreover, were realized such pilot project as "Revival of traditions of folk decorative, fine and applied arts of Azerbaijan in Gobustan, Mashtaga , Amirjan and Yeni Surakhani settlements of Baku" and "Promotion of traditions of decorative arts and development of carpet weaving in the city of Barda".
This year, Azerbaijani region Gabala was named the capital of legends, Balakan region was named the capital of folklore and Absheron region was honored to be capital of crafts.
In this line, Gabala, Balakan, and Absheron regions will host numerous ceremonies, national and international scientific conferences, round tables, concerts, competitions, festivals, exhibitions, fairs, and info-tours.
Deputy executive directors of Gabala, Balakan and Absheron regions, namely Ataya Osmanova, Nazaket Rustamova, and Irada Gulmammadova, informed the audience about the progress made in the field of culture, art, and tourism in their regions, as well as about the work planned for this year.