A large exhibition of traditional Azerbaijani carpets, titled "Genetic Code of Memory. Azerbaijani Carpets" was held in Riga for the first time (PHOTO)

Society Materials 17 May 2024 14:14 (UTC +04:00)
A large exhibition of traditional Azerbaijani carpets, titled "Genetic Code of Memory. Azerbaijani Carpets" was held in Riga for the first time (PHOTO)

To promote the art and schools of carpet weaving in Europe, which are closely related to the rich cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, the lifestyle and ancient traditions of our people, on May 15, 2024, the opening ceremony of the exhibition of Azerbaijani carpets "Genetic code of memory. Azerbaijani carpets" was organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Latvia and "Azerkhalcha" OJSC at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Riga within the framework of events dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Latvia.

At the exhibition's opening ceremony, Elnur Sultanov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Latvia, underscored the historical significance of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Latvia, which is being celebrated in 2024. He expressed his delight at the opportunity to present, for the first time in Riga, the exquisite examples of the national art of carpet weaving, a heritage preserved by the Azerbaijani people for centuries.

The Ambassador stated that this exhibition will strengthen the active cultural relations established between our countries. He noted that the performance of Azerbaijani tar, presented to the exhibition's guests, gave the event a special flavor. Azerbaijani carpet weaving, tar making, and performing arts have been included in UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

E. Sultanov emphasized the value of the three carpets, woven in a modern style by "Azerkhalcha", that were donated to the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design of Latvia. This generous act, made possible by the order of "PASHA Holding" Limited Liability Company and "PASHA Bank" Open Joint Stock Company, will ensure the permanent display of Azerbaijan's carpet weaving art in Latvia. This significant contribution will undoubtedly enhance the promotion of Azerbaijani culture in Latvia.

At the event, Emin Mammadov, Chairman of the Creative Group and the Board of Management of "Azerkhalcha" OJSC, emphasized Azerbaijan's strong commitment to its national moral values and efforts to showcase its culture globally. He highlighted the significance of carpet weaving in Azerbaijani folk art, stating that it has become a symbol of the people. Mammadov also underlined the special place of Azerbaijani folk-applied art, particularly carpet weaving, in the nation's cultural history. He discussed the various carpet weaving schools showcased at the exhibition and emphasized "Azerkhalcha" OJSC's primary goal of preserving and further developing the tradition of carpet weaving. Mammadov mentioned that the company collaborates with local and foreign artists and designers to create contemporary carpets based on traditional designs, contributing to the continuous development of carpet art. He also discussed the company's efforts to preserve and develop the art of carpet weaving, pass it on to future generations, and provide employment opportunities for weaving women, particularly those living in rural areas.

Agnese Latse, the parliamentary secretary of the Ministry of Culture of Latvia, Inese Baranovska, the head of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, and Iveta Derkusova, the deputy director of the collections of the Latvian National Art Museum, delivered a comprehensive speech at the exhibition. The speakers emphasized that the display of the unique collection of carpets at the exhibition was a significant event in the cultural life of Latvia. They expressed their gratitude for the three carpets donated to the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design by "PASHA Holding" LLC and "PASHA Bank" OJSC. During the speeches, it was also mentioned that the similarities between the ornaments of Azerbaijan and Latvia attract attention, reflecting the mutual cultural connection that has influenced the cultures of both countries. It was noted that the 150th anniversary of the birth of the prominent Latvian artist and ethnographer Yuliy Straume was celebrated this year. The display of handcrafts featuring unique carpet patterns collected by Y. Straume during his trip to our country at the exhibition embodies the deep cultural ties between our countries. The speakers expressed confidence that the Latvian public will welcome the exhibition and play an essential role in developing cultural relations between the two countries.

The event was attended by members of the Latvian government and Parliament, heads of diplomatic missions, representatives of local cultural, social, and media organizations, and members of the Azerbaijani community living in Latvia.

At the exhibition, a captivating film showcasing the art of carpet weaving and renowned carpet weavers was projected on the big screen. Additionally, an Azerbaijani carpet weaver demonstrated the intricate weaving process live, providing a unique insight for the participants.

Before the exhibition on May 14, Emin Mammadov, Chairman of the Board of Management of "Azerkhalcha" OJSC, and Asmar Babayeva, creative director, held a presentation on Azerbaijani carpet making at the Latvian Art Academy. They spoke about Azerbaijani carpet weaving art and groups, and the company's weaver visually showed the weaving process to the participants during the event. The exhibition will last until September 15, 2024.