Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.15 / Trend /
An exhibition "Historical look at Azerbaijan`s rich pearls" opened Wednesday in Vatican.
The exhibition, initiated and supported by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Azerbaijan and Vatican.
Azerbaijan is a first Muslim state that demonstrates its cultural values in Vatican.
Before the exhibition`s opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Elchin Afandiyev met cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, Vatican`s culture minister, chairman of Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology.
They discussed relationship between Azerbaijan and Vatican, stressing the role of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in developing the bilateral cooperation.
The sides noted that cultural events held in Vatican at the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation had already become a good tradition.
The sides also praised the cooperative relations established between Azerbaijan and Vatican over the past 20 years.
Speaking at the opening of the exhibition Gianfranco Ravasi said relations between Azerbaijan and Vatican had been developing particularly in cultural and humanitarian spheres.
According to cardinal Ravasi, projects initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation play special role in developing Azerbaijan-Vatican cooperation.
Gianfranco Ravasi recalled restoration of sacred catacombs by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, describing this as an example of intercultural and inter-civilizational platform.
Azerbaijan`s Deputy Prime Minister Elchin Afandiyev conveyed greetings of president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva to the event's participants.
Afandiyev spoke of Azerbaijan's ancient history and rich culture. He said Azerbaijan had always been recognized across the world as a place of religious tolerance.
Touching upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Deputy Prime Minister said Armenia occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territories and more than one million Azerbaijanis were driven out from their original lands by force. Afandiyev said the exhibition in Vatican was a vivid evidence of the importance given to Azerbaijan.
The Deputy Prime Minister also recalled the visit of Pope John Paul II to Azerbaijan. He added that reciprocal visits give impetus to strengthening cooperation between Azerbaijan and Vatican.
The "Historical look at Azerbaijan's rich pearls" exhibition features all periods of the country`s history and culture.
One of peculiarities of the exhibition, consisting of 6 sections, is that Azerbaijan is presented as an intersection of various cultures and civilizations.
Various books and booklets published by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation are demonstrated at the exhibition, which will last till December 5.