Ramiz Abutalibov: We have valuable archive materials on Azerbaijani migrants in Iran

Ramiz Abutalibov: We have valuable archive materials on Azerbaijani migrants in Iran
# 08 May 2007 10:49 (UTC +04:00)
Former department chief of UNESCO Secretariat, prominent diplomat Ramiz Abutalibov has been interviewed by the APA.

- Which historical-cultural monuments of Azerbaijan are in UNESCO’s list?
- Our three monuments have been included into the list World Heritage List (UNESCO) under one name. Icherisheher (The Old City), Maiden Tower and Shirvanshahs’ Palace were included into the list in 2000-2001. We made efforts for inclusion of these cultural monuments into the list. There are special requirements for inclusion of monuments into UNESCO’s list. Written introduction is to be presented about the importance of the monument. This introduction is analyzed thoroughly and discussed. UNESCO sent Professor Nelzat Ilhan from Turkey to Azerbaijan in 1998. UNESCO expert, professor of Edirne University got acquainted with the monuments and made an introduction. After this, three monuments were included into UNESCO’s list. Besides, mugham was also included into the list of intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO in November, 2003.
- What other monuments are planned to be included into the list?
- Introduction of Gobustan’s rock drawings, as well as Ateshgah and Nakhchivan mausoleum are being made up. Nakhchivan mausoleum includes Momune Khatun, Garabaghlar, Yusif ibn Kuseyr, Gudi Khatun and Gulustan mausoleums. Issue on inclusion of Gobustan’s rock drawings into UNESCO’s list will be debated this summer. As we know, there are two kinds of historical monuments: cultural and natural monuments. Introduction of Hirkan forest in Lenkeran is being prepared for inclusion into the list of natural monuments. Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry prepares it.
- Do you think there are some other monuments that could be in UNESCO’s list?
- There were 12 monuments in the preliminary introduction prepared for UNESCO. Ordubad as a historical city, Caspian defense establishments and marsh in Bine are among them. Registration of all cultural, natural monuments shown in the introduction list would be very important.
- UNESCO’s mission for protection of cultural heritage is expected to visit Azerbaijan, Armenia and Karabakh. What is the importance of this mission and the cause of its delay?
- The mission’s program is investigated in high level. No doubt that there are some debatable points here, both countries blame each other for destruction of historical monuments. It seems international organizations impede this mission.
- Armenia misappropriated a number of our cultural monuments. How can we protect our cultural monuments from Armenian plagiarism?
- We have to make strong efforts to prevent this plagiarism. Jivan Gasparyan plays Azeri song “Sen gelmez oldun” on balaban (musical instrument) and everybody listens to it. The only way to fight against it is to produce a lot of disks against his one disk. Therefore, we should propagandize our heritage. Of course, it is very difficult issue. Now we claim removal of the edition of Russian Great Encyclopedia, which introduced wrong information on Karabakh. But Armenians are proud of it. Therefore, they can publish such edition again. One should be realistic in such issues. Some say let’s buy all the editions, so that this wrong information was not spread. Such solution of the issue is in favor of Armenians. After thinking all over this I regard the only way out of it is regular propagandizing. If Armenians say that “Sari gelin” belong to them, we should say it ten times. We have very talented singers, balaban masters. Let’s ask them to perform it ten times. To my regret, the case is contrary now. We say once, but they say ten times.
- What organizations can we appeal besides international organizations protecting copyrights?
- “Sari gelin” is our folk song. We say it is our song and they say their song. We should prove it. I think counterpropaganda is the best way of removing Armenian propaganda.
- You were the first to present several materials on the migration history of Azerbaijan. Have you publicized all the investigations, 200 kg of archives that brought to Baku?
- These 200 kilograms of archives are invaluable. I presented all of them to corresponding organizations. My duty was to find materials, and investigation is the duty of scientists. I gave these materials to them.
- What remain unpublicized in France?
- Alimardan bay Topchubashov’s documents still remain in France. Foreign scientists a little bit jealously approach to this matter. They say you are not dealing with science, you find and take away and then allow us to investigate. I never dealt with science. I like to search, not to investigate. I know several our scientists are interested in the documents of Alimardan bay, try to contact French colleagues.
- Are you satisfied with the level of study of migration history of Azerbaijan?
- Most of our migrants lived in Iran for a long time. We do have valuable archive materials in this country. I think this issue should be focused on. The other interesting issue is the investigation of Jeyhun Hajibeyli’s archives thoroughly. Two names-Uzeyir’s and Jeyhun Hajibeyli’s names are mentioned in the first poster of “Leyli and Mejnun” which is preserved in archive. I saw Jeyhun bey’s notes, agenda “My wishes” written in French in archive. This note can clarify several issues.
- You have been living in Moscow for more than two years. There are many unknown materials on Azerbaijan in the archives of Russia…
- I can not work in the archives, as I am old. But I concern myself with the investigations of researchers in Moscow archives. Working in archives is not difficult at present, as youth research there. I heard we had a very famous artist - Ashraf Murad. He died in 1979. I am collecting his works at present. I want to demonstrate them in Moscow exhibition.
- Do you intend to carry on your activity in Azerbaijani Cultural Center in Moscow?
- They say Cultural Foundation named after the then Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev will be established in Moscow. Azerbaijani government can decide this issue. We need the establishment of such foundation. /APA/

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