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Grand opening of National Carpet Festival in heart of Old City

05 May 2024 [14:23] - TODAY.AZ

By Nazrin Abdul

On May 4, 2024, the National Carpet Festival commenced amidst the historic charm of the Old City, Azernews reports.

Dignitaries including Shahin Seyidzade, Chairman of the Board of the "Icherisheher" State Historical and Architectural Reserve Administration, Emin Mammadov, Chairman of the Board of the "Azerkhalcha" Open Joint Stock Company and Honored Artist of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Yusif Abdullayev, Executive Director of the Export and Investment Promotion Agency - AZPROMO, graced the opening ceremony with their presence.

Shahin Seyidzade emphasized the significance of hosting the National Carpet Festival within the UNESCO-listed Icherisheher, underscoring its role in preserving Azerbaijan's ancient cultural heritage. He stressed the importance of promoting and safeguarding the art of Azerbaijani carpet weaving, a UNESCO-recognized Intangible Cultural Heritage, through this esteemed festival.

Emin Mammadov highlighted the profound significance of May 5th, designated as "Khalchachi Day" in honor of Azerbaijani carpet makers, as well as the founding day of "Azerkhalcha" OJSC. He emphasized the festival's role in preserving the rich tradition of carpet weaving and further advancing this revered art form.

"Today is a significant day for Azerbaijani carpet makers. By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, dated November 25, 2016, May 5 - "Khalchachi Day" began to be celebrated as a professional holiday, and at the same time, May 5 is the day on which "Azerkhalcha" OJSC was founded. The official celebration of the carpet maker's day and the organization of the National Carpet Festival play an important role in preserving the tradition of carpet weaving and further developing this art."

Yusif Abdullayev reiterated AZPROMO's commitment to showcasing Azerbaijani carpet weaving on the global stage, underscoring the National Carpet Festival's contribution to this endeavor. He emphasized the importance of introducing Azerbaijan's cultural heritage to the world through its exquisite carpets, enriching the experience of visitors to the country.

Yusif Abdullayev said that "AZPROMO regularly holds exhibitions in order to promote Azerbaijani carpet weaving art at the international level, and today's National Carpet Festival is a contribution to that work. In addition to introducing Azerbaijan's cultural heritage to the world through carpets, it is important to show the guests of our country our carpet production."

Following the opening ceremony, attendees, including members of the Milli Majlis, dignitaries, and cultural figures, explored various exhibitions dedicated to the national leader Heydar Aliyev, including the "Encyclopedia of a Lifetime" triptych and "Heydar Aliyev 100" carpet exhibitions. Visitors also had the opportunity to witness the intricate stages of carpet weaving demonstrated by skilled artisans and explore other exhibition spaces, including the stunning flower carpet in Icherisheher.

Over the two-day festival, a plethora of events celebrating the art of carpet weaving are being held in Icherisheher. These include exclusive exhibitions featuring ancient, modern, and designer carpets, carpet weaving masterclasses for all ages, educational seminars, interactive theater performances, a fair, mugham evening, and a captivating concert program. The festival also kicked off with an open-air film screening for residents and guests of the Old City.

Organized by the "Icherisheher" State Historical-Architectural Reserve Department and "Azerkhalcha" Open Joint-Stock Company, with support from the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Export and Investment Promotion Agency - AZPROMO, the National Carpet Festival promises to be a celebration of Azerbaijan's rich cultural heritage and a testament to the enduring legacy of carpet weaving in the region.


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