Opening of “Trapezitsa” Architectural Museum Reserve took place in the city of Veliko Tyrnovo, Bulgaria, restored with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, September 22.
Azerbaijan’s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the opening ceremony.
- Esteemed mayor, respected guests, dear friends.
I am very delighted to be in your beautiful country, in the ancient city of Veliko Tyrnovo. Let me thank you profoundly for your sincere reception and hospitality.
Our meeting is happening on a significant day – Bulgaria’s Independence day. I would like to congratulate the whole Bulgarian people from the bottom of my heart on this holiday and wish them peace and abundance. I would, at the same time, like to congratulate you on the opening of “Trapezitsa” Architectural Museum Reserve after restoration. It is very pleasing to me that the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has made its contribution to the restoration of this cultural-museum centre. Located between green hills, the city of Veliko Tyrnovo was, during the 12th to 14th centuries, one of the leading cultural, historical and public-political centres, and it was, first, distinguished for its unique nature, beauty, architectural features, and also walls of fortress of defence nature. The Trapezitsa Preserve is a national treasure of all of the Bulgarian people and, at the same time, it is an Al-European cultural heritage. Therefore, I once more would like to say that both we and our foundation feel very proud to have made contribution to the restoration of this historical-cultural heritage of world importance.
Dear Friends, our country – Azerbaijan - is situated between Europe and Asia, at the crossroads of civilizations. Hence, a history measured in millennia has played a great role in its cultural diversity, and left a trace. For millennia, people of different nations and faiths have lived on the territory of our country in an environment of peace and friendship.
There have never been any problems between confessions and nations. Today, we take pride in the environment of tolerance and mutual respect dominating in modern Azerbaijan. Being a Muslim country, we respect our traditions, religion and culture. On the other hand, we approach the cultural diversity of the world with the same degree of respect.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation, relying on the world’s cultural diversity, tolerance and mutual respect, has been implementing projects to support cultural heritage not only in Azerbaijan, but also in the whole world. Monuments in the Versailles Palace have been restored by the Foundation’s support. We have participated in the restoration of the Strasbourg Church, the Philosophers’ Hall in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. We have been restoring rare manuscripts in Vatican museums. Azerbaijan is the only Muslim country to have implemented a big project on the restoration of one of the most valuable Christian relics - Saint Marcellino and Pietro catacombs in Vatican.
Unfortunately, in the modern world, we are witnessing an increase in such processes as xenophobia, radicalism and terrorism. I think humanitarian and intercultural relations, perceiving other cultures, attempting to understand, conceive and help are a very significant tool in the struggle against such negative cases. I am very delighted that one of these projects has been implemented in a friendly to us country – Bulgaria. Relations relying on mutual respect and mutual interest exist between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan. The relations between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria are of strategic partnership nature. These relations are experiencing a process of development at all levels. I am confident our today’s project too will contribute to strengthening of the bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria.
Dear Friends, in conclusion, I would like to thank those who have helped us, who had made their contribution to the implementation of this project and, first of all, mister Prime Minister, you for participating today in the official ceremony together with us and having kept constant control over the whole process of restoration. I would like to mention Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Azerbaijan Maya Khristova, and thank her. She has had a big role in strengthening the relations between our countries, especially in the humanitarian sphere. I thank the construction companies that have accomplished this project in a short span of time. As you know, a cooperation agreement was signed in May last year, and today we are inaugurating the restored reserve.