Cooperation in the field of culture and tourism

Cooperation in the field of culture and tourism

Today, Azerbaijan, a country who has become an active participant of cross-cultural communication in the world, is expanding the partnership with other countries of the world in the field of culture and is carrying out new projects in this context. Lithuania is one of the countries that has become a partner of Azerbaijan in the field of culture.

The relations between Azerbaijan and Lithuania in the field of culture are being developed. In this view, an agreement on cooperation has been signed between the Azerbaijan State Film Fund and Lithuanian Central State Archive. This document triggered further development of cooperation between the two states in the field of culture.

Azerbaijani and Lithuanian philharmonics maintain partnership relations as well. A memorandum on cooperation was signed on September 18, 2008, between Azerbaijan State Philharmonic named after Muslum Magomayev and Lithuanian State Philharmonic Society. The key objective of the cooperation is to restore the cultural relations between Lithuania and Azerbaijan that existed up to 1990s.

Within the framework of “Dialogue of cultural capitals” project, musical on “Notre Dame de Paris” written on the motives of Victor Hugo’s famous novel  was staged in Heydar Aliyev Palace with participation of Azerbaijani, Lithuanian and Polish artists on June 17 to 18, 2010.

With the view to develop the partnership in the field of culture, the Ministers of Culture met on August 16, 2010. Minister Abulfas Garayev of Azerbaijan stated that Azerbaijan is not only ready to partner with Lithuania in the field of music, but it is also ready to cooperate closely in other spheres of culture as well.

A concert of famous Lithuanian pianist Mūza Rubackytė was held in Azerbaijan State Philharmonic on February 8, 2011, during the official visit of the Speaker of Lithuanian Seimas Irena Degutiene to Azerbaijan. In the concert devoted to the Independence Day of Lithuania, Mūza Rubackytė performed classic works with Azerbaijan Chamber Orchestra, as well as works of Lithuanian composer and painter Mikalojus Ciurlionis. Besides, paints of Ciurlionis were exhibited in the hall of the Philharmonic.

On April 8, 2011, “Tale of the wind” musical was premiered in Heydar Aliyev Palace with participation of Azerbaijani and Lithuanian musicians.

An individual exhibition of Azerbaijani painter Mir Teymur Mammadov was held on October 28, 2011, in Vilnius, Lithuania. The exhibition was organized by “Azeri.lt” portal and Vilnius Pedagogical University. The main theme of the exhibition was Azerbaijan, which always drew painter’s attention.

On October 18 to 21, 2012, the Azerbaijani delegation led by Abulfas Garayev, the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, paid an official visit to the Republic of Lithuania. As part of the visit, a meeting was held with Arunas Gelunas, the Minister of Culture of Lithuania. The cooperation between Azerbaijan and Lithuania in the field of culture was discussed and existing friendly relations were appreciated in the meeting.

The delegation was also familiarized with National Museum - Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania and National Art Gallery.

On the 6th of November, 2012 the international scientific conference "Vilnius-Baku: Culture bridges" was opened in the Lithuanian parliament. The conference initiated by the Lithuanian Azerbaijanis Society was dedicated to the 130th anniversary of Vincas Krėvė-Mickevičius, famous Lithuanian writer. The event was organized by the Lithuanian Azerbaijanis Society, Lithuanian parliament`s committee for education and culture, Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and Lithuanian National Communities House.

On December 3 to 9, 2012, a visit of Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra to Azerbaijan was organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism with support from Heydar Aliyev Foundation in frames of VI Mstislav Rostropovich International Music Festival hosted by Baku.

In June, 2013, a delegation representing the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania visited Baku. The delegation attended the 2nd International Forum in the field of Cross-cultural Dialogue and held meetings.

On August 3, 2013, famous Lithuanian pianist Mūza Rubackytė’s solo concert took place in frames of “5th Gabala International Music Festival”.

On December 2 to 7, 2013, Milda Valanciaskiene, Programmes Coordinator at Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO represented Lithuania in the 8th session of UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage hosted by Baku under the chairmanship of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The Tourism Department of the Ministry of Economic Development of Lithuania, along with the tourism bodies of Austria, participated in the EU-funded Twinning project “Strengthening the capacity of the Department of Tourism in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan” launched in 2012.

The project coordinator on the Lithuanian side Daiva Kirkilaite-Chetcuti worked in the Department of Tourism in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for 15 months as the resident adviser of the project. The project, implemented with assistance from Lithuanian and Austrian experts, covered the improvement of the legislation in the field of tourism, developing a general tourism marketing plan, a model for tourism and recreation areas, building quality and other management systems, organizing special workshops for the employees of the department and other issues.

On January 19 to 26, 2014, the delegation led by Deputy Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan Nazim Samadov visited Vilnius to hold meetings with relevant representatives of Lithuanian tourism industry with respect to the implementation of the project, including the study of experience on creation and management of tourism areas. The delegation met with European Spas Association, Druskininkai Tourism and Business Information Center, Druskininkai Municipality, Lithuanian Rural Tourism Association, the Ministry of Ecology of Lithuania and other organizations.

The meetings focused on discussions covering IT in Tourism marketing, balanced resort planning, development trends of rural tourism and other types of tourism in the Republic of Lithuania, the role of resort associations in the development of tourism and other topics.

Azerbaijani delegation visited ADVENTUR International Tourism Exhibition and Vilnius University, met with the Lithuania’s Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas, Deputy Minister of Economy Kestutis Treciokas and the head of Tourism Department of the Ministry Raimonda Balniene, deputy mayor of Druskininkai, mayor of Birstonas, President of Lithuanian Resorts Association, Lithuanian Tourism Chamber and Lithuanian Hotels and Restaurants Association and other officials in the field of tourism.

The arrangement of work and services in the resorts and sanatoriums of Lithuania, mechanisms for management of cooperation between different stakeholders of tourism industry, regulation of relations between public and private sectors, implementation of investment projects in the field of tourism, formation of tourism products were discussed, presentations were made and exchange of views took place. Besides, agreements were made on expansion of partnership with tourism industry of Azerbaijan and exchange of experience.

Twinning project was completed in June, 2014.

Lithuania took part in the exhibition “ATIF 2014” which was held on the 3-5 of April in Baku, Azerbaijan. Lithuanian booth was presented under name “Healthcare tourism”.

From 20 to 24 May 2014 the Natavan gallery was hosting “Touch” solo exhibition of Lithuanian famous artist Edita Sukhotskite. The exhibition was organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

On June 9, 2014, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Azerbaijan was represented in the first meeting of the “Amber Road Committee” in Vilnius organized by World Tourism Organization and Lithuania’s Tourism Sate Department. www.worldamberroad.travel website of Lithuania was presented in the meeting and future promotion of amber-related tourism products by member countries via this website was discussed.

The leading specialist of Department of Cultural Policy of the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania Erika Buivydienė took part in the Conference which was held on the7-8th of July in Baku, Azerbaijan. This Conference was organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan and Council of Europe. The conference was on the theme of the digital environment and modern society. 

On the 3rd of January, 2015 in Vilnius three stories by famous plawriter Elchin Huseynbayli were published. These stories were translated with the support of Azerbaijan Society in Lithuania. The story by name "the Game" was published in weekly magazine "Literature and Art" ("Literatura ir Menas") and "the First kiss" and "the Dove" stories were published in the newspaper "North Athens" ("Siaures Atenai"). Earlier "Grandmother, Grandfather and Communism", "When the waters sing to the sun", "Grave Bride" and "The day by your eyes" stories were presented to the Lithuanian readers.

On January 19, 2015 under the initiative of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Lithuania the Seimas of Lithuania hosted an event dedicated to the Vilnius tragedy of January 13, 1991 and the Baki tragedy of January20, 1990 in order to bring to the attention of the public of Lithuania.

On February 24, 2015 51 members of Lithuanian Seimas adopted an appeal in connection with Khojaly genocide. In the appeal the deputies expressed deep condolences to the people of Azerbaijan and the state, the crime against humanity was noted.  
On the 4th of March, 2015 the first European games "Baku - 2015" presentation organized by the embassy of Azerbaijan in Lithuania and Lithuanian Olympic Committee was held in Vilnius.

On the 5th of March, 2015  the Day of Re-establishment of the State of Lithuania and the 25th anniversary of the Day of Re-establishment of Independence of Lithuania were solemnly commemorated in Azerbaijan at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall in Baku. The numerous guests were greeted by Ambassador of Lithuania in Azerbaijan, Valdas Lastauskas. Minister of Taxes of Azerbaijan, Fazil Mammadov made a speech on behalf of the Republic of Azerbaijan. After greeting speech Petras Geniušas and Liudas Mockūnas performed a music improvisation „Sea in the Forest“.  

On March 10, 2015 - the Lithuanian Olympic Committee Post  under the initiative of Lithuanian sportsmen provided the information about the first Baki European Games. In this regard the card with symbols of European games were issued.

On the 17th of March, 2015 in Mahsati Ganjavi gallery center an exhibition “Ganja Yesterday and Today” organized by Executive authorities of Ganja city, the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Lithuania and Sport and Youth Head Department of Ganja city was held. Photographer from Lithuania Vytautas Daraškevičius represented more than 40 photos. In these photos there are pictures of Heydar Aliyev Center, Shah Abbas Mosque, ancient monuments of Ganja city etc.     

On the 19th of March operating in Lithuania Association of Azerbaijanis "Gunesh" held an evening in Vilnius on the occasion of the upcoming holiday of Novruz. The Chairman of GUAM countries  territorial integrity group in the Seimas Mantas Adomenas, members of the Seimas, public and political persons, living and studying Azerbaijanis attended this evening. After greeting speeches the evening was followed by living in the USA Azerbaijani singer Valery Yusubov.  

On the 2-4th of April, 2015 at “ATIF-2015” 14th International “Travel and Tourism” Fair Lithuania represented latest achievements in the fields of  medical, resorts and spa tourism. During the 14th International Fair there was a meeting between Deputy Minister of Tourism Nazim Samedov, leaders of  the Lithuanian Medical Tourism Cluster and other tourism centres and organizations.      

On the 17 of April, 2015, the Youth Fund under the President of Azerbaijan, the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Lithuania, and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in the frames of the Azerbaijani Youth Organization (AYOL) project "Culture knows no boundaries" project held the concert in the Vilnius Academy of Music and Theatre. The goal of the project is to raise awareness of the rich culture of Lithuania, to contribute to the development of cultural relations between Azerbaijan and Lithuania. Lithuania's Minister of Education Dainus Pavalkis, members of the Seimas, the Head of the  Sector Manager to work with youth organizations of the socio-political department of the presidential administration Vusal Guliyev, the Head of strategic planning and international relations sector of Azerbaijan Youth Foundation under thePresident of Republic of Azerbaijan Orkhan Arabov, Lithuanian public figures, the rector of the Academy of Music and Theatre in Vilnius, teachers and students attended the event.

On May 18-19, 2015 the Minister of Culture of Lithuania Sarunas Birutis took part in the third World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue held in Baki. The Minister of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan Abulfaz Garayev met his Lithuanian counterpart Sarunas Birutis.

On May 22, 2015 the State Department of Tourism of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Embassy in Azerbaijan with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan has organized the event titled " the Lithuanian-Azerbaijani night".

On May 23, 2015  XXI Azerbaijan International Food Industry Exhibition held at the Baku Expo Centerwas attended by Lithuanian companies. They are mostly dairy, meat, seafood and ice cream companies that are involved in the production. 

On May 25, 2015 in Vilnius the presentation of the book "Accord" by living in Lithuania our compatriot Adil Efendi took place in "Arch" gallery with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Lithuania.

On May 26, 2015 an official reception on the occasion of 28 May - Republic Day of Azerbaijan was held by the Azerbaijani Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania. After playing the national anthems of both countries Ambassador Hasan Mammadzade gave information to the participants about the Republic Day.

On July 10, the Tenerife International Film Festival in Madrid declared Endless Corridor to be the Best Documentary, and Aleksandras Brokas the Best Director of a Documentary.

On November 21, 2015 "Seven beauties" based on the poem of the great Azerbaijan poet Nizami Gyandzhevi was performed at Russian Drama Theatre. The director of performance - director of Russian drama theater of Lithuania Yoonas Vaytkus, a choreography - Azerbaijani Honored Artist, well-known dancer-choreographer Tair Eynullayev. 

On November 25, 2015 the Head of Classical Dance Department in Baku Academy of Choreography, Honored artist Rimma Iskenderova and the teachet of National Dance Department, choreographer, honored artist Eteri Jafarova participated in the 70th anniversary of Lithuanian National Art School named after Churlionis.    

On November 30, 2015 presentation on the book "Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: the ways to resolve" prepared by the Center of Geopolitical Studies was performed in Vilnius. The book was published in English and Lithuanian languages. Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Lithuania Hasan Mammadzada, the head of inter-parliamentary friendship group Yuras Pojela, experts, representatives of Azerbaijani youth and social society participated at the event.  

On December 19, 2015 in the framework of the 7th International Music Festival "European ways" the concert jointly organized by the Embassies of Azerbaijan and Lithuani to Italy, Roma. Young and talented violinist Umida Abbasova, the winner of some important international competitions and the pianist Zulfiya Sadiqova, Lithuanian opera singer Vera Talerko, the pianist Elena Machiuskayte presented own ,usical compositions. At the concert compositions by Jovdet Hajiyev, Adil Bebirov, Frederik Chopin, Fikret Amirov, Peter Tchaikovsky and other great composers were performed.

On December 24, 2015 a book "Azeristan country" by prominent Lithuanian writer Vinzas Kreven was published in Azerbaijani language as a part of series "ATV Book".    

12 January 2016 Christmas Book campaign, initiated by President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite, helped collect 50,000 new books for public and school libraries across Lithuania. The campaign, which is being organized in Lithuania for the fifth time, is aimed at encouraging children and youth to donate new and gently used books to libraries. The project is organized in partnership with the Azerbaijani Embassy in Lithuania.

On January 20 - Fevral 2, 2016 there was photo exhibition "The road to freedom: Azerbaijan, Lithuania" in Charles University in Prague. The photos reflecting on events of January 20, 1990 in Baku and January 13, 1991 in Vilnius were exhibited.    

In February, 2016 Lithuanian director Aleksandras Brokas' “Endless Corridor” film about the Khojaly Massacre has won the “Humanitarian Award” of Global Accolade Global Film Competition.    

On February 25, 2016 at the initiative of Vitse-President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva there was an event "Blood for life" to commemorate the 24th anniversary of Khojaly genocide in the framework of international campaign "Justice for Khojaly". 

On Aprel 1, 2016 Training course on "Azerbaijani multiculturalism" started in Pedagogical University of Lithuania. Mrs. Afsana Mammadova, PhD in philology, led the training course. The lecturer gave a lecture on multiculturalism in Vilnius University too. The students from Italy, Ukraine, Turkey, Spain and Russia along with Mr. Kestutis Salaveyus, Vice-Rector of Lithuanian Pedagogical University and Mrs. Loreta Xodzkien, the head od Department of the University attended the meeting.

On May 3, 2016 a novel named "The letters of grey donkey" by Elchin Huseynbayli and devoted to the war in Karabakh was issued in Lithuanian language. 

On June 3, 2016 a historian Algimantas Liekesin presented his book named "Migration of nations to the Caucasus: XX century". The author of the book told how he became interested in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and shared the process of book writing.   

On October 11, 2016 the members of Azerbaijan State Theatre of young spectators visited Lithuania in order to participate in International Theatre Festival. Along with the diploma for the participation in the 11th International Festival "Atspindys" the performance was awarded with a special diploma and a prize.    

On October 19, 2016 the event named "Native Land" and organized on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of idependence restoration of Azerbaijan was held by the members of "Azeris" Azerbaijan Community.  

On October 29, 2016 a Lithuanian pianist Dainius Pulauskas gave a master class in jazz club at "Landmark". The master class, organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Culture Fund of Azerbaijan, took place within Baku International Jazz Festival.  

On December 5, 2016 the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Lithuania prticipated in the charity fair held on the occasion of Christmas. This charity fair was organized in the City Hall of Vilnius.  National souvenirs, carpets, shawls with national ornamentation, books, leaflets, national sweets such as shakarbura and pakhlava, pomegranate and fruit juice were represented at the National Stand.  

İn January 2017 another book titled "Nigaranchilik" by J.Mammadguluzadeh was published in Vilnius, Lithuania. The work by J.Mammedguluzade was translated by well-known literary critic, publicist and translator Mahir Hamzayev, who was a laureate of Lithuania State Prize and a member of the Union of Writers, Professor Irena Aleksaite.

On February 2, 2017 Vilnius Officers House hosted a presentation of books with analyze of the history of Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus. "Movement of peoples of the Caucasus in the XX century" by  historian scientist Alqimantas Liekis, "Tragedy of Qarabakh" by  journalist Qintaras Visotskas and "Impact of Politicians 'Decisions on the Peoples' fortune" by Leonas Yursha were presented during the meeting.

On February 24, 2017 a memorial commemorating the victims of the Khojaly genocide was held at Vilnius Palace. More than 200 delegates, including the heads and staff of the interparliamentary relations group, government agencies, diplomatic corps accredited in this country, prominent public figures and journalists attended the ceremony. During the event booklets on the Khojaly genocide in the Lithuanian language and CDs with "Khojaly 613" by French composer Pierre Tiloy were distributed to the guests.  

On April 14, 2017 Embassy of Azerbaijan in Lithuania and the Youth Foundation under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan organized a cultural evening at the embassy hall of the Embassy of Azerbaijan.

On April 17, 2017 Lithuanian University Professor Vidas Kavaliauskas held a meeting with the students jointly organized by the Knowledge Foundation under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Baku Multilingualism Science and Education Center. During the meeting the Lithuanian professor briefed the students on the country and paralleled multiculturalism in Lithuania and Azerbaijan. The professor said that the model of multiculturalism of our country had become an example in the world. 

On June 5, 2017 in Vilnius, Lithuania "Skamba skamba kankliai" folk music festival was organized by Vilnius Ethnic Cultural Center with support by the Embassy of Azerbaijan. "Shusha" folk music group represented by Gunay Mehdiyeva (khanende), Togrul Orujov (kamancha) and Ismayil Zulfugarov (tar) participated in the event.