On May 17–19, 2019, ICOM Azerbaijan National Committee in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Park Boulevard shopping center within the support of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the famous natural olive oil brand Zeytun Baghlari, held a museum festival Museums Visit Park Boulevard.
Twelve museums of our country – Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, Azerbaijan National Museum of Art, Azerbaijan State Museum of Musical Culture, Azerbaijan State Theater Museum, Azerbaijan Independence Museum, National Museum of History of Azerbaijan, Icheri Sheher Museum Center, Uzeyir Hajibeyli House Museum, Samad Vurgun House Museum, Bulbul House Museum, Leopold and Mstislav Rostropovich House Museum, and Azerbaijan Customs History Museum, took part in the event.
During these three days, the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum held master classes on weaving (souvenir carpets, cheten mats, and shadda carpets) and interactive educational programs, as well as presented a puppet play Shengulum, Shungulum, Mengulum for children. The Azerbaijan National Museum of Art performed the pantomime In Love With Art and the play of shadows theater, and organized a quiz and master classes on drawing. Icheri Sheher Museum Center presented an interactive henna ceremony and games with costumed characters (backgammon with Baku Gagash, chess with Shirvanshahs’ Vizier), as well as a concert program performed by students of the Republican High School of Arts. The Azerbaijan State Museum of Musical Culture prepared for the event a piano performance, as well as a concert program performed by the violin ensemble Detashe, the folklore ensemble Shirvan, and the ensemble of ancient musical instruments. Leopold and Mstislav Rostropovich House Museum organized a concert program of classical compositions; Samad Vurgun House Museum showed guests literary and musical performances based on the poet’s works; Uzeir Hajibeyli House Museum presented a scene from the operetta If Not That One, Then This One performed by schoolchildren; Bulbul House Museum – a concert program within the participation of students of the secondary music school named after Bulbul; and the Museum of Independence of Azerbaijan – a concert Art of Ashugs in Tradition by the Majlis Dirili Gurbani.
In total, the festival presented 29 activities – master classes, plays, concerts, contests, games, etc. This festival, organized within the International Museum Day, emphasized this year’s topic Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition, and became a gift for Baku residents and guests. “Museums come to the audience – that was our main idea. And we completely fulfilled our target. This museum parade in the Park Boulevard shopping center has become a miniature version of a large and international museum expo. This kind of event is new for our public, and Park Boulevard visitors apprehended it with great enthusiasm. The festival was intended primarily for an unprepared audience, who rarely visits museums. Our task was to break the current museum stereotype among the wide public and display museums’ diverse activities. Short movies about all participant-museum and video presentations of their projects were showcased on the large monitor. The presenter told the guests about each of twelve museums. This was very important for house museums promotion. We were particularly glad that a great number of children participated in the festival in Park Boulevard. I would like to thank the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which always supports our projects, as well as the management of the Park Boulevard shopping center, and our sponsors – the State Customs Committee, and Zeytun Baghlari brand,” Shirin Melikova, Chair of ICOM Azerbaijan National Committee, Director of the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, said.
ICOM Azerbaijan National Committee’s activity has been going on for more than a quarter of a century. This period includes active work on the museum society’s development in our country and its integration into the world museum community.
ICOM Azerbaijan National Committee held a number of international museum conferences in Baku. In particular, in October 2018, a joint conference Decorative Art and Interior of two international committees of ICOM – the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Decorative Arts and Design (ICDAD) and the International Committee for Historic House Museums (DEMHIST), was hosted here. President of ICOM Suay Aksoy visited Azerbaijan for the first time within the framework of this conference.
ICOM Azerbaijan National Committee attaches great importance to the enhancement of museum staff professional qualification, especially the younger generation – they regularly participate in international training. Currently, ICOM Azerbaijan National Committee is preparing the Azerbaijani delegation to participate in ICOM General Conference in Kyoto.