First lady watches Shadows of Gobustan ballet at UNESCO headquarters

Thu 18 Sep 2014 05:36 GMT | 09:36 Local Time

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Shadows of Gobustan ballet by great Azerbaijani composer Faraj Garayev has been staged at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Azerbaijani first lady, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva watched the show.

Prior to the start of the ballet Mehriban Aliyeva had a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. They stressed the importance of joint projects between the country and the organization.

Speaking at a ceremony before the show, Irina Bokova praised the staging of the Gobustan ballet at the UNESCO headquarters. She called it a masterpiece of the Azerbaijani people and the world cultural heritage. The UNESCO chief hailed the event as “a moral bridge” and “an important element” of the bilateral cooperation.

Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfas Garayev highlighted the measures taken by the country’s government to preserve the Gobustan ballet and raise the awareness of future generations about it.

He said Shadows of Gobustan saw its international premiere in Paris 45 years ago, adding “our returning to this issue in the French capital is an outstanding contribution to art lovers here”.

Composed in 1969, Shadows of Gobustan is one of the remarkable Azerbaijani works inspired from the unique Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, which was inscribed in the World Heritage List in 2007.

In four sections, “Fire”, “Sun”, “Hunting”, and “Artist”, imaginary and poetic scenes of life of first residents of Gobustan were staged. Shadows of Gobustan is classified as avant-gardiste, reflecting the construction of collective humanity, ready not only to obtain the perception of the environment, but also to go beyond of its vital needs.

Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape covers three areas of a plateau of rocky boulders rising out of the semi-desert region of central Azerbaijan, with an outstanding collection of more than 6,000 rock engravings bearing testimony to 40,000 years of rock art. The site also features the remnants of inhabited caves, settlements and burials, all reflecting an intensive human use by the inhabitants of the area during the wet period that followed the last Ice Age, from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. An exhibition entitled “Gobustan: at the dawn of civilizations” was also launched at the UNESCO headquarters. It expends tribute paid to this universal and exceptional heritage, witness of flora, fauna and life mode of primordial and medieval periods.

Speaking to the opening ceremony, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture Alfredo Pérez said Gobustan was a masterpiece of the world cultural heritage.




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