June 22, 2009

Event on presentation of funds Heydar Aliyev Foundation allocated to the repair of Notre Dame Church

Event was held June 22 on presentation of funds Heydar Aliyev Foundation allocated to the repair of Notre Dame Church in the center of Strasbourg. 

Mayor of Strasbourg, Senator Roland Ris, main bishop of the city and delegates of religious structures, prefect of Alzas Region, senior officials of local authorities, chief and employees of Main Department of Culture Ministry of France for Alzas Region, Azeri MPs, head of Turkey’s Representation to COE and consul general to Strasbourg, employees of permanent mission of Azerbaijan to COE, intellectuals of universities, representatives of our diaspora were present in the event. Opening the event official spokesperson of Notre Dame Church Foundation Remi Bodru noted important role of charity means in bringing different nations together, highly valued care by Heydar Aliyev Foundation to repair the ancient historical site of XI century covering 1500sq.m.


Ganira Pashayeva, director of department at the Foundation, member of Azerbaijan PACE Permanent Mission, stressed significance of the event taken place in the symbolic capital of Europe, assessing it as the next step towards expansion of successfully continuing bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and France.


She mentioned a number of events on Azerbaijan were organized in Strasbourg due to support of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, including a concert Azerbaijan Child Chorus and symphonic band gave at this church May 28 last year on the Republic Day, despite concert at the church is an exceptional event. The Azeri MP highly valued the step by the city municipality that contributed to performance of young Azeri talents, emphasizing that representatives of a Moslem country gave concert at the church for the first time. 


Talking of creation of Heydar Aliyev Foundation G.Pashayeva said the Foundation, which started operating May 10, 2004 and is led by First Lady of the country, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO, MP Mehriban Aliyeva, serves development of Azerbaijan, implements large-scale programmes and projects, cooperates with a lot of international organizations and successfully functions in a number of countries via its representations.


She informed of the Foundation’s actions and experience in field of development of dialog of cultures and religions, active participation of President of the Foundation Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva in cultural processes not in Azerbaijan only but on the international level, special attention she pays to the initiatives concerning intercultural dialogue.  


She mentioned thanks to care and initiative of Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva influential international conferences are organized on cultural diversity, dialog of cultures and religions, the conference held in Baku on lifting role of women in such dialog was highly assessed by international public, and the present event indicates special importance the Foundation attaches to dialog of cultures and religions.


G.Pashayeva said Heydar Aliyev Foundation helps protection and restoration of religious monuments in Azerbaijan, informed of repair and restoration works done due to the Foundation’s support at orthodox and Saint Maria churches in Baku, to construction of education and culture center for Jewish children.


She noted the Foundation rendered financial aid to repair of 2 monuments displayed at Paris Versailles Palace.


Mayor of Strasbourg Roland Ris evaluated the financial help by Heydar Aliyev Foundation to the repair of the church in Strasbourg as contribution by Azerbaijan to Europe and its cultural heritage. Azerbaijan that is member of COE pays attention to European cultural heritage too and church in Strasbourg is a part of this heritage. Making huge contributions to the culture Heydar Aliyev Foundation has serious influence on formation and promotion of positive image of Azerbaijan in the international arena and it is appreciable.


Recalling some cultural events on Azerbaijan the head of the city municipality said residents were much impressed by the concert Azeri children gave, noted desire of Azerbaijan to participate in New Year Fair traditionally held in the city as honor guest is being reviewed and he tries for realization of the respective project. The mayor expressed the desire will come true in 2010 New Year Fair.   


In the end, he expressed gratitude to the President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Azerbaijan government and nation for the charity action.


Prefect of Alzas Region Pierre-Etienne Bish, main bishop of Strasbourg Jean-Pierre Orale much appreciated the help by Heydar Aliyev Foundation to the repair of the church and expressed deep thanks to President of the Foundation Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva. The prefect thanked Mehriban Aliyeva on behalf of Minister of Culture and Communication of France Ms Christine Albanel.


Head of Azerbaijan PACE Permanent Mission, Ambassador Arif Mammadov assessed the event as a worthy contribution by Heydar Aliyev Foundation to the dialog of cultures and religions, as well universal cultural heritage. The Ambassador noted Strasbourg hosted a number of events on Azerbaijan and expressed gratitude to Mayor Roland Ris.


In the end, G.Pashayeva and Arif Mammadov presented the donation check by Heydar Aliyev Foundation for repair of the church, also books ‘Singers of Garabagh’ and dedicated to the Foundation’s 5-year activities published by the Foundation to the mayor.


Mayor Roland Ris expressed his rich impressions by familiarization with ancient history and rich culture of Azerbaijan during his visit to our country as member of French Senate delegation 5 years ago.


Ambassador Arif Mammadov and Mayor Roland Ris gave interview to France-3 TV channel, France Bleu Radio, ‘Alzas nouvelles’, ‘Alzas’ and ‘20 minutes’ newspapers, talked of Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s actions, services of its president Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva in field of safeguarding and restoration of the cultural heritage.


Paris newspaper L’Express covered the event on its June 22 issue.