Exhibition on Cultural Heritage in BishkekJuly 25, 2016, 06:00
Bishkek, 20 July 2016 – An Exhibition entitled “Protecting the Past – Inspiring the Future” was formally opened earlier today at the National Museum of Fine Arts, Bishkek. Organised by the Aga Khan Development Network Representation Office in the Kyrgyz Republic and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Roza Otunbayeva Initiative, the Exhibition showcases major cultural restoration projects undertaken by the AKTC’s Historic Cities Programme in diverse cultural contexts and various geographic locations. The ceremony was attended by prominent academics, government officials, members of diplomatic corps and representatives of civil society. “I am thankful to the Aga Khan Development Network for organising this Cultural Exhibition in Kyrgyzstan. The Exhibition, which will also be on display in various locations across the country, illustrates how cultural heritage foster social and economic development. I am particularly pleased to see today an impressive group of cultural specialists from within Kyrgyzstan and beyond so that through today’s event and Seminar on the same topic tomorrow, they can share their experiences on this important theme for the benefit of all,” observed Former President, H.E. Roza Otunbayeva. The Exhibition showcases efforts to improve the quality of life of communities neighbouring historic sites as well as enhance urban spaces and reinforce a respect for diversity through the preservation and revitalization of cultural assets. The panels on display also include 19 projects shortlisted for 2016 Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture which is given every three years to projects that set new standards of excellence. “The Ministry is pleased to support this Exhibition in collaboration with the Aga Khan Development Network especially in light of the objectives set out by H.E. President Almazbek Atambayev in designating 2016 as the Year of Culture and History in the Kyrgyz Republic,” noted Mr. Farhad Bekmanbetov, Deputy Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic. In his welcome remarks, Mr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in the Kyrgyz Republic noted, “While the exposition focuses largely on the built environment, I am delighted that here in Kyrgyzstan, through the Aga Khan Music Initiative, and its long-term Bishkek-based partner, Centre Ustatshakirt, close to 6,000 primary school students receive exposure and training on traditional musical instruments.” Following the welcome addresses, Mr. Luis Monreal, General Manager, AKTC presented specific studies, including projects undertaken by the Trust whereby cultural heritage had served as an economic asset. Examples cited included Babur’s Garden in Afghanistan and the Al-Azhar Park in Cairo. Alongside the Exhibition, a related Seminar is organised on July 21 in Bishkek which provides an opportunity for diverse stakeholders to explore how cultural assets, in particular those in Central Asia, can bring broad benefit to neighbouring communities while preserving historic sites. Several eminent specialists in this field, including Mr Henri Loyrette, former President - Director, Louvre Museum, Paris and Dr. Pavel Lurje, State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Ms Bakyt Amanbaeva, Leading Researcher, National Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyzstan will formally present their expertise and experiences on this subject. For further information please contact: Aga Khan Development Network Representation Office in the Kyrgyz Republic 80 Tynystanov Str., 720053 Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic Tel: +996 312 696 031 Notes: Formalised in 1992, the Historic Cities Programme undertakes specific, direct interventions focused on physical, social, and economic revitalisation of historic sites throughout the world. The Programme has proved that cultural development can contribute, in unique and distinctive ways, to the human aspiration for a better quality of life. It has now completed 20 major restoration projects in ten countries, including the Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, India; historic Babur’s Garden and the Mausoleum of Timur Shah in Kabul, Afghanistan and ancient mud mosques in Mopti, Djenne and Timbuktu, Mali.