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The National museum of Azerbaijan literature named after Nizami Ganjavi
In the center of ancient Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan there is a magnificent building which attracts attention of everyone with its blue majolica on the façade where monuments of six outstanding representatives of Azerbaijan literature – Fizuli, Vagif, M.F.Akhundov, Natavan, J.Mammadguluzade an J.Jabbarli are erected.This is the building of the National Museum of Azerbaijan literature named after Nizami Ganjavi, genius poet and thinker of Azerbaijan. More than 70 years this holy temple of the word carries out the mission of propaganda of ancient history and rich literary heritage of Azerbaijan people.
The history of the Museum building which catches attention with its charming architectural style at first sight begins from the middle of the 19th century which had been built not far from the Twin-gates surrounding Icharishahar (Old city) in 1850. According to the project of Gasim bay Hajibababayov (1811-1874), the chief architect of Baku Gubernia, the second floor was added to the one-stored caravanserai with the order of the new owner of the building Azerbaijani millionaire Haji Hajagha Dadashov (1828-1905). The civil engineer Alexander Nikitin (1878-1952) prepared the project of the banquet room on the second floor and in 1915 the building was transformed into “Metropol” hotel.
In 1918-1920 years The Cabinet of Ministers of Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan used the building as a work-place and lodging.
In 1920-1930 years Trade-Union Committee of Azerbaijan was located in the building.
In connection with 800 th anniversary of genius Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi’s jubilee there was a decision № 4972 of PCU from November 1, 1939 on establishment of the Museum dedicated to Nizami Ganjavi’s life and creative activity.In 1943 the façade and interior of the building was decorated in national style and the monuments of prominent representatives of Azerbaijan literature – Fizuli (sculptor F.Abdurahmanov), Vagif (sculptor J.Garyaghdi), M.F.Akhundov (sculptor P.Sabsay), Natavan (sculptor.Tripolskaya), J.Mammadguluzade (sculptor N.Zakharov) and J.Jabbarli (sculptor Y.Klyatskin) were erected on the balcony.
On May 14, 1945 the Museum of Azerbaijani literature named after Nizami Ganjavi opened its doors for the first time for the guests.The stages of development of Azerbaijani literature have found their reflection in the Museum exhibition enriched with innovations, completely computerized and referred to world standarts. The tourists from all parts of the world visit the Museum of literature with great pleasure. The ancient manuscripts, examples of material culture, pictures, carpets, unique books, finr miniatures, manuscripts of famous calligraphers, numismatics, memorabilia of writers, documental photos, sculptures, maps, the pieces of applied arts and crafts attract attention of the visitors. In the innovative exhibition the guests of the Museum can get acquainted with valuable audio-video materials – various films, fragments of performances, music pieces of well-known Azerbaijani composers and poetic examples performed by popular actors.
Some new halls are created in the exhibition.These halls dedicated to 13th century scientist Nasiraddin Tusi’s life and creativity, Shams Tabrizi, Zulfugar Shirvani and Molla Gasim Shirvani, Shah Ismail Khatayi, Hasan bay Zardabi, Husein Javid make deep impression on the visitors of the Museum.In new exhibition dedicated to the tragedy of victims of repression the visitors have opportunity to see the photo-copies of “Delos” (dossiers) of innocent people for the first time. The halls of the Museum are decorated with new paintings – pictures, portraits and illustrations. Valuable documents and memorabilia demonstrated in the exhibition of Contemporary Azerbaijan literature arouse interest in the guests. The show-case of watches and clocks gives especial nuance and harmony to the Museum exhibition as silent witnesses of their creative moments. In the monitor room of the Museum the visitors can get wide information about literature, culture and traditions of the nation in Azerbaijani, Russian, English, German and Persian languages. The Southern and Emigratory literature was not forgotten either.
The main mission of the Museum is propaganda of literary heritage of Azerbaijan among visitors.
The Museum has lots of visitors from all parts of the world. They write their impression in “Museum Comment Book”.
“The Museum is the mirror of Azerbaijani culture”, “The Museum is the window opened to the world”, “We have come, seen and fallen in love” – these are the examples of thousands of visitors’ impressions written in the “Museum Comment Book” sincerely.