President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva attended the opening ceremony of the Shaki ABAD Ceramics and Applied Art Centre upon his visit to Shaki on October 29.
President Ilham Aliyev cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the complex.
“ABAD” public legal entity run by the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan was established by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev dated 23 September 2016. The main purpose of the project is to promote the active participation of citizens in the socio-economic development of the country, the development of small and medium-sized businesses and the employment rate of the population, "ABAD" promotes the formation of competitive households and directly participates in the implementation of socially-oriented projects. "ABAD" builds its activities through regional centers. Such centers have already started functioning in Masally, Balakan and Guba districts. Within the framework of the project that supports the family-owned businesses in decorative-applied folk arts and agriculture, "ABAD" families have been provided with special containers for the production of jam, meat and dairy products. So far, more than 100 people have been involved in decorative-applied art and dozens of families work in the agricultural sphere. In order to organize sales, ABAD opened centres in different parts of the country.
The President`s Assistant for Work with Law Enforcement Bodies and Military Issues, department head Fuad Alasgarov and chairman of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASAN Service) Ulvi Mehdiyev informed President Ilham Aliyev and first lady of the complex. The building was reconstructed in 2018 with the support of PASHA Holding by ABAD public legal entity. The main purpose of the center is to restore the historical pottery traditions of Shaki and pass on this heritage to future generations. The centre is furnished with modern equipment.
The proof of the great history of nations with ancient roots is also determined by its ceramics craft. Numerous ceramic samples and ancient wood stoves were discovered during archaeological excavations throughout the entire territory of Azerbaijan, especially in Shaki.
During the acquaintance with the centre it was stated that the “Yuxarı Baş” State Historical-Architectural Reserve is located in the ancient part of Shaki city. Relevant work is being carried out by the state for the preservation of the reserve in order to be able to enter UNESCO’s cultural heritage list. "Khan's Palace" was included in the heritage list by I, IV, V criteria. The building of the Sheki Ceramics and Applied Art Center is one of the five barrack buildings inside the fortress walls, which will be placed on the list of UNESCO reserves. The building is a historic-architectural monument built in 1867. The two-storey building also has leisure rooms for employees and staff members. It also houses thermal furnaces and training rooms, raw and ready-made material warehouses, ethno-boutique, office, and carpet-making rooms.
In short, all conditions have been created for those engaged in ceramics and applied art in this center.
The purpose of the center is to preserve and pass on the historical ceramic traditions of our country, mainly Shaki region, to the future generations, as well as to introduce a variety of Azerbaijani clay in the world. It will also be the first Ceramics Center in the Caucasus. In the future, the centre will host international events with the participation of well-known foreign artists and training using modern equipment. In addition to ceramic art, the centre also plans to hold pieces of training on carpet weaving and other crafts. The purpose of all these is to educate and support enthusiastic beginner craftspeople.
It was noted that sale of products made by artisans will be organized at Shaki Ceramics and Applied Art Center. In total, about 40 citizens will be provided with a permanent job.