Louvre to exhibit Azerbaijani carpets

By: Amina Nazarli

Beautiful, colorful Azerbaijani carpets will soon be featured at the world’s most visited museum, the Louvre.

Recently, the museum’s director of the Islamic Art Department, Yannick Lintz, visited the Carpet Museum in Baku and acquainted herself with the unique carpet samples exhibited here.

She noted that the main reason for her visit was to host an exhibition of Azerbaijani carpets at the famous French museum. The event will put on display carpets from the Azerbaijan Carpet and Louvre museums’ collections.

The exhibition will promote Azerbaijan’s beautiful national carpets and provide an opportunity for foreigners to familiarize themselves with these amazing art samples.

Nearly 50 of the most invaluable and rare Azerbaijani carpets are stored at the Louvre museum.

Ancient Azerbaijani carpets are stored at the White House, the U.S. State Department, and many other museums across the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Museum of Art in Philadelphia, as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

The carpets, stored in these museums, were made by artisans in Baku, Tabriz, Ganja, Gazakh, Guba, Shirvan, and Garabag. Throughout history, different foreign diplomats, traders, and scientists bought these carpets and took them to their countries.

Azerbaijani carpets provide comfort to almost any house due to their diverse patterns, creative drawings, and mastery.

The carpets feature different patterns and a color palette from several schools, including Guba, Baku, Shirvan, Ganja, Gazakh, Karabakh, and Tabriz.

Some 600 different designs decorate Azerbaijani carpets. The most popular design style is Buta, which has 72 shapes and three main symbolic meanings: fire, water, and the cypress.

Over many centuries, carpets have become not only an accessory but also a necessity for the Azerbaijani people. They are seen in almost every house. In ancient times, no man married a girl who could not weave a carpet. Families used to buy carpets as the main part of the dowry for their daughters.

In November 2010, the Azerbaijani carpet was proclaimed a Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage by UNESCO.

The first carpet museum in the world was established in Baku in 1967. At first, the museum was located in the Juma Mosque in the Old City. In 1992, the museum, named after well-known Azerbaijani scientist Latif Karimov, the founder of carpet studies and Azerbaijani carpet history, was moved to 123a, Neftchiler Avenue.

A new carpet museum, designed in the form of a rolled carpet, opened in the Baku seaside park (boulevard) in 2014. All carpets were then transferred to this museum.

The museum is famous for its unique collection, where the best samples of national carpets are put on display. The new building houses 13,300 exhibits and items, including carpets; thread-work samples; metalwork; fabrics; clothing; ceramic, glass, wooden, and paper items; jewelry; books; and a unique collection of photographs.


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