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Azerbaijan Carpet Museum brings international experience for young conservators

Monday 16 January 2017 (Categories: Non ICOM/ICOM-CC, Textiles)

The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum established in 1967 is the world's first museum specializing in preserving, studying, and exhibiting carpets and carpet items. Today it has a large and rich collection of Azerbaijani carpets and textiles, embroideries, and national costumes.

One of the museum’s most important tasks is the appropriate storing, conservation and, in some cases, restoration of exhibits. To this end, the museum has worked seriously and consistently, scheduling the opening of a restoration center, preparing qualified personnel, and purchasing necessary equipment. The museum has actively begun to establish relationships with restoration centers in different countries

From October 24–December 14 2016, the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, in collaboration with the National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for UNESCO, organized the project “Cultural Wealth of Azerbaijan”. Within the framework of the project, master classes were held, conducted by experts from Germany, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.The aim of the project was to:

- revive forgotten traditions of national textiles, embroidery, and traditional costume;
- transfer the art to future generations of conservators;
- build competence in the field of textile conservation; and
create the Carpet Museum's restoration center that would meet international standards.

The master classes consisted of two parts. The first part instructed how to store and restore textiles, embroidery, and traditional costume. These master classes were conducted by Christine Mueller-Radloff, textile conservator from the Dresden State Art Collections and Sofya Martyanova, textile restorer, the State Research Institute of Restoration (Moscow).

The second part of the program was aimed to increase the knowledge of national embroidery techniques. The master classes in this field were conducted by experts in traditional embroideries, such as Guljan Iresh from Kyrgyzstan, Zelenkhan Mukhamejan from Kazakhstan, and Madina Kasimbayeva from Uzbekistan.

The impetus for launching this project was a meeting between the President of ICOM Azerbaijan, Shirin Melikova, and Christina Mueller-Radloff during the ICOM Milan Conference in 2016. Another meeting was held with Dinara Chochunbaeva, vice-president of the World Craft Council (Asia Pacific/Central Asia) in Bishkek, 2016, during “Mark of Quality”, a World Craft Council program that awarded prizes to the best handicraft products exhibited at the XI International festival of traditional handicrafts “Oimo-2014”.‚Äč

The project “Cultural Wealth of Azerbaijan” has continued 41 days. The project was intended for young conservators from the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum and other museum institutions and restoration centers in Baku, as well as for students graduating in the field of art studies. 

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