France, Strasburg, 16 April / Trend corr A. Maharramli/ "The meeting of Subcommittee on Cultural Heritage of the PACE Committee on Science, Culture and Education took place on 16 April. The meeting discussed several issues, inluding European Museum of the Year Award which was established in 1977. The discussions involving experts and jury defined the winner of this year," Rafael Huseynov, member of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE, member of the Subcommittee on Cultural Heritage, said to Trend in an exclusive interview. "Since 1970, well-known world museums have participated in the competition. About 60 countries nominated their museums for this Prestigious Award. In 2009, Azerbaijan will also join the project. I have discussed this issue many times. The Nizami Ganjavi Museum of Literature, where I am the Director, was repaired owing to the President's special care and it will be opened soon. We will attempt to join the project and I hope we will become one of the key candidates," he said.
Edward O'Hara from UK, the Reporter on South Caucasus Cultural Heritage, spoke at the meeting. He informed of the work carried out in different directions. He said that a visit will be paid to South Caucasus to study the condition of the region's cultural heritage. According to Huseynov, O'Hara said that no serious progress has been yet achieved in this connection and the date of the visit even has not been fixed. "O'Hara said that he had discussed this issue with Armenian representative in the Subcommittee Raffi Ovannisian, me and the head of the PACE Secretariat on Science, Culture and Education Christopher Grayson and is trying to find a solution for this. In this connection, we held separate discussions with O'Hara and Grayson, and took a decision to hold broader discussions within the framework of the Council of Europe Ministers of Culture in Baku on 12 November, so as to make efforts to find solution for this issue. The issue is- this visit should cover all republics of the Southern Caucasus. The problems, which have occurred in three countries, hinder the implementation of the visit. Azerbaijan doors are open for this visit. However, Armenia states that the country is experiencing a complex situation after the presidential elections. Previously, the Government had always stated about the significance of the elections. The reason is that Armenians do not want anybody to get acquainted with the state of their cultural monuments," Huseynov stated.
Huseynov informed that during the discussions the Committee of Culture expressed there will to form a map, which will cover the researched places. "I developed a map, which included cultural monuments that the Azerbaijan will research. However, other countries have not developed such maps. I hope that we will reach concrete results on the issue during the meeting of Ministers of Culture in Baku in Nov," he stated.
According to him, usually the meeting connected with the cultural heritage issues, is not held in extended format. Azerbaijan in this sphere is represented by Huseynov and Armenia - by Raffi Ovannisian. "O'Hara and Grayson attended the meetings. MP Samad Seyidov, head of the Azerbaijani Delegation to PACE, also participated in the meetings sometimes. The meetings are held mainly in such format. We may hold separate meetings as well. I believe that the issues discussed today would be the main issues of discussions during the rest of the meeting," he noted.
Huseynov is also noted little possibility of O'Hara's visit to the region.