Author: Narmina VALIYEVA Baku
In late June, the Maiden Town again came into the focus of attention of the 25 well-known artists who had arrived in our capital from all over the world. They all took part in an unusual project - the international festival of arts - and dedicated their unusual works to the symbol of Baku. And on 1 July, the ceremony of closing of the Qiz Qalasi Art Festival was held in Icari Sahar with participation of the Azerbaijani president's daughters - Leyla Aliyeva, vice president of the Heydar Aliyev Fund, and Arzu Aliyeva.
It has to be noted that last year, Azerbaijan's First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva provided support to the festival and even supplied her own painting. This year, Leyla Xanim Aliyeva's work was exhibited. Leyla Xanim herself said that in her work, she wanted to convey the idea that all things are submissive to time.
For three days, visitors could see how amazing art works were created at the foot of the Maiden Tower. Curious passers-by surrounded the participants in the festival, watching with great interest how they created their works. Every artist was to paint an original work without forgetting his or her own country's heritage. The "walls" of the tower could be painted in any color.
Indeed, the artists faced an unusual task: Painting on a three-dimensional polyurethane model which was an accurate copy of the Maiden Tower. Hungarian artist Agnes Kulin covered her copy with children's palm prints of different colors. She said that she wanted to show in this manner that the children of the planet, regardless of their skin color, are better able to find a common language than adults. Iranian artist Nasser Azizijoshan painted galloping horses with manes waving in the wind. His black-and-white work, performed in graphic style, drew attention of the visitors of the exhibition. Ukrainian Anna Dudnikova adorned the top of the tower with the Sun, the symbol of life. The artist explained that Baku is associated with the Sun for her. Besides the celestial luminary, there was a branching tree with birds singing a hymn to wonderful life on A. Dudnikova's tower. Yet another song to the nature was the unusual and unbelievably beautiful dance by one of the participants in the festival, Lithuanian artist Skaidra Jancaite. The towers of Azerbaijani artists Anar Yolciyev and Asmar Narimanbayova were very bright and emotional. And Rasad Babayev painted an extraordinarily bright work in the avant-garde style. All the artists had one thing in common - the color dominated in all the works. The festival, which was organized by the Heydar Aliyev Fund, Administration of the State Historical and Architectural Preserve Icari Sahar under the cabinet, Modern Art Museum and the Qiz Qalasi art gallery, was to popularize one of the most ancient monuments of Azerbaijan. It is included in the UNESCO world heritage list, but not only as a symbol of our city, but also as a masterpiece of Azerbaijani architecture.
The artists have excellent and amazing impressions of Azerbaijan. "Your country cannot leave anyone indifferent. Every artist who arrived here could experience what hospitality and generosity really means. Everyone was treated like a star. No one could imagine that there would be so many autograph requests, photo and video shoots," Ukrainian artist Anna Dudnikova said. Swedish artist Jonas Liverod is just as elated. "I have acquired Azerbaijan mania! I have got so infatuated by your country that I plan to come back soon for a longer stay or, possibly, to stay forever!" - the artist said.
As for the 25 small copies of the Maiden Tower, their future is already known. First people will be able to see them at the foot of the architectural monument, and later some of them will be sent abroad.
The Maiden Tower itself, which is situated in Icari Sahar and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is not only the symbol of Baku and a masterpiece of the Azerbaijani architecture, it also causes interest in the ancient history and rich traditions of the Azerbaijani people, which are an invaluable contribution to the enrichment of the world heritage and promotion of the intercultural dialogue. Incidentally, the name of the monument, Qiz Qalasi, which is frequent in Turkic-speaking world, is probably related to the fact that the tower has never been seized by the enemy. The precise date of construction is unknown. The closest estimate is about 12th century AD. It was established thanks to a slab with inscription on the outside wall of the upper part of the tower. Written in the archaic Kufic script, the inscription reads: "Qubbe (dome, vault) of Masud ibn Davud." But there are many other plausible theories about the more ancient origins of the site.