Don’t miss International Museum Day at Icharishahar History Museum

By: Gulnar Aliyeva

Museums are centers for conservation, study and reflection on heritage and culture. Open to the public, it acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for further education, study and enjoyment.

Museums’ main aim is to safeguard and preserve the heritage as a whole. They aim for the endogenous development of social communities whose testimonies it conserves while lending a voice to their cultural aspirations.

The notion “museum” originates from the Ancient Greek (Mouseion) which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses (the patron divinities in Greek mythology of the arts).

The first museum in Azerbaijan appeared in the late 19th century, when a school museum was established in the village of Nehram, Nakhchivan. In 1919 the Independence Museum of Azerbaijan or Istiglal museum was set up in Baku, the capital of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. In 1920s museums of local history of Ganja,Nakhchivan, Shaki and Lankaran were founded.

In 1921 the Azerbaijan State Museum, organized an exhibition which was divided into sectors dedicated to archeology, history, ethnography and nature. The National Art Museum of Azerbaijan, the biggest art museum, was founded in Baku in 1936.

Later, in the 1970s memorial house museums dedicated to prominent national figures, such as Samad Vurgun, Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Nariman Narimanov, Bul-bul etc were established upon the initiative of national leader Heydar Aliyev, the then-leader of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan Carpet Museum (formerly called The State Museum of Azerbaijan Carpet and Applied Art) was opened in 1972 and the museum organized exhibitions in more than 50 countries including France, Germany, England, Japan, and the Netherlands.

Icharishahar Historical Museum, established in 2007, is the youngest museum of Azerbaijan. The museum is dedicated to the history and ethnography of Old Baku, Icharishahar. Icharishahar Historical Museum holds expositions in 3 different historical sites including Maiden Tower, Khanegah and Chin mosque where a numismatic museum was set up.

To collect and preserve museum pieces, Icharishahar Historical Museum has set up a museum fund with a number of 7,225 museum pieces, divided into 2 sections: main and subsidiary. While the basic fund contains 2,989 museum pieces, the subsidiary consists of 4,236 pieces.

The Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts, given the growing importance attached to and progress of museums in the country, has established a department of “Museum studies and the conservation of monuments of culture” in 1991. Moreover, the Azerbaijani National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) was established by the Culture Ministry of Azerbaijan in 1993.

Icharishahar Historical Museum was granted the collective membership of International Council of Museums (ICOM) in 2012.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan National Committee of ICOM put the problems of museums under Armenian occupation on the agenda of UNESCO several times. The Azerbaijan National Committee of ICOM made several appeals to UNESCO regarding the conservation and preservation of monuments of material and culture in the occupied lands.

Armenians have plundered numerous museums and galleries which are on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan; approximately 1,000 displays were stolen and assimilated and about 200 monumental sites were ruined. Moreover, the enemy stole rare golden and silver vessels, ancient carpets from the local history museum of Kalbajar, an occupied territory of Azerbaijan.

International Museum Day

Every year since 1977 International Museum Day has been celebrated and organized by the International Council of Museums on May 18. This day serves as an occasion to raise awareness on how important museums are in the development of society.

From America to Oceania including Africa, Europe and Asia, this international event has confirmed its popularity. In 2014, International Museum Day garnered record‐breaking participation with more than 35,000 museums hosting events in some 145 countries.

This year’s theme for the event will be Museums for a sustainable society. It highlights the role of museums in raising public awareness about the need for a society that is less wasteful, more cooperative and that uses resources in a way that respects living systems.

Dear readers, you are invited to enjoy this day at Icharishahar Historical Museum. You can visit the departments of Numismatics, Khanegah and Maiden Tower of Icharishahar” Historical Museum to enrich your knowledge on the Old City and its historical sites.

You are also invited to attend free festivals, activities, new exhibitions that will be held on the territory of Icharishahar during the International Museum Day – May 18.

Enjoy the walking tour around the Inner City, Baku historical site!

SOURCE: Azer News