Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov addressed a letter to the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the cultural relations between the two countries and 200th anniversary of the German settlements in Azerbaijan.
In the letter it is noted that the Government of Azerbaijan has always placed great importance on the cultural efforts in the development of relations with Germany and there are numerous historical circumstances that have brought the two countries closer to each other. Elmar Mammadyarov emphasized that in 1999, in accordance with a decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, National Leader Heydar Aliyev, collections of the art works of the Bremen museum by such famous artists as Rembrandt van Rijn, Albrecht Dürer, Nicolas Poussin, Anthony van Dyck, Jacob van Ruisdael and others, were returned to Germany and he pointed out that there are also many buildings of architectural significance designed in the 19-20th centuries by German architects such as Nicolaus von der Nonne and Adolf Eichler that are still a part of the ambiance of the streets of Baku and other cities. It is also mentioned that examples of such buildings that were built by German settlers, four churches in particular, were renovated over the last few years.
In the letter it is stressed that with initiative of the Republic of Azerbaijan, UNESCO has included the 200th anniversary of the German settlement in the South Caucasus region in its list of official anniversaries. In this context, the Republic of Azerbaijan is planning to organize several events together with Germany and Georgia in the headquarter of the UNESCO, in Baku, Goygol, Berlin, Stuttgart and Tbilisi.
In the letter it is reminded that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan with partners from Germany and other stakeholders has prepared a project, “German Settlers of Azerbaijan” reflecting life stories of Germans who settled in various regions of Azerbaijan. As a part of this project, the following events and activities are planned:
1. Renovation and restoration of the Siemens Museum in Gadabay;
2. Renovation and restoration of the Regional Museum in Goygol;
3. Renovation and restoration of the traditional eco-hotel in Goygol;
4. Renovation and restoration of the Centre of German Heritage in Shamkir.
Minister informed that the “German Settlers of Azerbaijan” project was presented in the framework of the 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations held in Baku on April 25-27, 2016 and was well received, attracting great interest from participants.
At the end the Minister Elmar Mammadyarov expressed his assurance that raising awareness on German history and heritage in Azerbaijan will contribute to building bridges between Azerbaijani and German people.