On December 22, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Romania, Sibiu, a part of the renowned Brukenthal National Museum hosted the opening ceremony of the exhibition Azerbaijani Carpets: Learning Through Art. The exhibition dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Romania and the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum's 55th anniversary presents fifteen late 19th – early 20th-century flat-woven and pile carpets from the museum's collection representing different regions of Azerbaijan. Gasimushagi, Malibeyli, and flat-woven varni carpets of Karabakh – the late samples of renowned Ajdahali (Dragon) carpets of the Safavid period, and the Shamakhi carpet of Shirvan are on display. The dragon image is widespread in the Turkic peoples' art. According to ancient beliefs, the dragon is the protector of the family. It appears mainly as the defender of the palmette, the symbol of the tree of life on carpets. The exhibition includes small tactile carpets woven in different techniques by the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum’s Traditional Technologies Department for individuals with visual disabilities.

Vasile Soare, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania to Azerbaijan delivered a speech at the event. He spoke about the history and current development of the relationship between Azerbaijan and Romania. Mr. Soare noted that Romania was one of the first countries to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence. He emphasized the significance of the agreement signed during the visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Romania, and Azerbaijan’s significant contribution to the energy security of Europe. Mr. Soare considered this exhibition an important event in the promotion of cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, known primarily as an oil-rich country. Mr. Soare added that this exhibition is the first project since his assignment as a Romanian ambassador in Azerbaijan.

Dr. Shirin Melikova, Director of Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum emphasized that the Brukenthal National Museum collection houses precious and rare carpets of the 16th-17th centuries. The ANCM will continue cooperation with this museum in the future. S. Melikova also told that the exhibition visitors can get information on Azerbaijani carpet-weaving art, its important role in the nation’s lifestyle, carpet-weaving techniques, as well as the semantics of ancient ornaments.

Alexandru Constantin Chituță, interim director of the Brukenthal National Museum underlined the exhibition’s significance and noted with great regret that museums in Romania has not special conditions for people with disabilities, “Presentation of the carpets woven specially for the people with visual disabilities and followed with explanations in Braille is an outstanding experience for us. We’re going to focus on this issue shortly”.

Tabriz Garayev, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Romania, and Alexandru Sonoc, Head of the Art Galleries at the Brukenthal National Museum spoke about the significance of this event and the importance of the development of mutual cultural ties between the nations.

Later, Alexandru Constantin Chituță presented Shirin Melikova and Vasile Soare a medal and diploma established on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Samuel Freiherr von Brukenthal, the founder of the Brukenthal National Museum. S. Melikova presented to the Brukenthal National Museum Zeyva carpet woven at the ANCM’s Traditional Technologies Department.

After, the guests viewed the exhibition. Museum directors, specialists, people of art and culture, and the members of the Romanian Association of the Blind visited the exhibition and showed great interest.

The event includes master classes on carpet weaving.

The project organized by the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum, the Brukenthal National Museum, and the Embassy of Romania in Baku with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Sibiu Branch of the Romanian Association of the Blind runs until January 31, 2023.