Photos from the Armenian press. Azerbaijani carpets are passed off as Armenian.

Photos from the Armenian press. Azerbaijani carpets are passed off as Armenian.

- Which nation historically owns the carpets that Armenians cannot find a place for?

- We know that the carpets left in Shusha after the capture of the city by the Armenian troops in 1992 were appropriated by the Armenians. There are 187 carpets that Armenians pass them off as examples of national Armenian carpet weaving. That's what they say to foreign tourists. During the Patriotic War of 2020, before the liberation of the city, the occupants were able to take out part of the carpets from the Shusha Museum, and some remained in the liberated city.

In the summer of 2021, we showed these carpets in the Shusha gallery, in the house of the noble people of Shushi, the Mehmandarovs. An exhibition of Azerbaijani carpets was officially opened there. Then they brought to Baku. Now, due to the fact that Shusha does not yet have a technically equipped room that can ensure the safety of exhibits at a constant temperature and humidity, with a burglar alarm, all carpets are stored in the Baku Museum.

Now a museum building is being built in Shusha, in which we will exhibit Azerbaijani carpets and other folk art products. We do not know when the construction and opening of the museum building in Shusha will be completed.

- In one of the photographs, crosses are visible among the ornaments of the exhibited carpet. Does not this indicate the Armenian origin of the product?

- Of course not. Crosses as an ornament were used in Azerbaijan, in the Goycha Mahal and Gazakh before the advent of Christianity and Islam. The crosses on the carpet have nothing to do with religion and Armenians. Such ornaments are evidence of the ancient Oghuz culture, common among the Turks of Altai, where Tengrianism was widespread - the pre-Christian religion of monotheism (Tanra), the symbol of which was the cross.

We informed the Armenians in publications and in an e-mail that the so-called Armenian carpets exhibited by them were actually woven by Azerbaijanis. Even without our letters, they know very well from whom the carpets were stolen, as well as the national cuisine, the famous "buta" ornament, melodies and other manifestations of Azerbaijani folk art.

- What is the Museum doing to spread the truth about the carpets held by Armenians?

- It is  not enough to  spread  by the exposition alone the truth about the history of Azerbaijani carpet weaving,  and about the authors of the carpets held in Armenia. We prepare publications for the media, booklets, scientific research. We publish books. The St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum, the Istanbul Museum of Islamic Art, and the Russian Ethnographic Museum store Azerbaijani carpets of the 18th-19th centuries. We find these exhibits, photograph and describe them, put them in our catalogs, and explain the history of these carpets. We organize traveling expositions in other countries, made up of exhibits from the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum. In 2019, within the framework of the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, three Azerbaijani carpets of the 18th-19th centuries were presented at the exhibition "Cultural Heritage of Azerbaijan in the Louvre".

*On February 16, the French Ambassador to Azerbaijan presentedthe Honorary Order of Arts and Literature of France to Shirin Melikova, director of the National Carpet Museum. Ambassador Zachary Gross noted that Shirin Melikova is an expert in the field of oriental carpets, she has been the head of one of the most famous museums in Baku since 2016, she is the curator of more than 20 exhibitions, the author of 11 monographs and various articles. The Ambassador thanked her for her contribution to the development of cultural ties and presented her with an order.

Photos from the Armenian press. Azerbaijani carpets are presented as Armenian ones


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