Veliko Tarnovo, September 23, AZERTAC
The opening ceremony of the Trapezitsa Architectural Museum Reserve, whose restoration was funded by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, has been held in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria.
The Azerbaijani first lady, president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva and vice-president of the Foundation Leyla Aliyeva attended the event.
Mehriban Aliyeva and Leyla Aliyeva were welcomed by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Mayor of Veliko Tarnovo city Daniel Panov and other officials. The ceremony started with the unveiling of a memorial plaque.
"It is my honor to attend this event," said Veliko Tarnovo's Mayor Daniel Panov. He thanked Azerbaijan's first lady on behalf of the local residents for this project.
He highlighted the history of the Trapezitsa Architectural Museum Reserve. The mayor noted that restoration of the ancient monument was a lasting desire of the Bulgarian people, adding “the Heydar Aliyev Foundation made this dream come true”. He presented keepsakes to the Azerbaijani first lady, Leyla Aliyeva and the Bulgarian Premier.
President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva expressed her gratitude to the mayor and residents of Veliko Tarnovo for “sincere reception and hospitality”. Mehriban Aliyeva congratulated the people of Bulgaria on the occasion of the country's Independence Day and wished them peace and prosperity. She as well congratulated them on the opening of the Trapezitsa Architectural Museum Reserve after restoration. She said the HeydarAliyev Foundation was happy to contribute to the renovation of this cultural and museum center.
"Trapezitsa Reserve is the national wealth of the Bulgarian people, and is also part of the European cultural heritage. That's why I want to reiterate that we and our Foundation are very proud that we contributed to the restoration of this historical and cultural heritage of world significance," Mehriban Aliyeva said.
Saying Azerbaijan was located at the crossroads of the civilizations, the first lady hailed multiculturalism and tolerance in the country. “Guided by the principles of cultural diversity, tolerance and mutual respect, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation is implementing projects to support cultural heritage all over the world. I am very glad that one of our projects is implemented in a friendly country – Bulgaria."
Mehriban Aliyeva praised “strategic” bilateral relations between the two countries, and expressed her hope that this project would also contribute to the strengthening of bilateral ties between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria.
She thanked those who contributed to the realization of the project, particularly Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the country's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Maya Hristova.
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Addressing the event, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov highlighted the development of “friendly” ties between the two countries. He expressed his gratitude to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva and the Foundation's vice-president Leyla ALiyeva. He described the event as a "strong bridge of friendship" between the two countries. He noted that the ancient cultural monument which was restored through support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation would contribute to the development of Azerbaijan-Bulgaria friendship.
The event participants then viewed the Cultural Heritage Center which was created in the area of the Reserve. The center highlights the history of Veliko Tarnovo and Trapezitsa, as well as the second Bulgarian khanate and features various exhibits on the archaeological researches, and the Middle Ages.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation then presented the Azerbaijani and Bulgarian version of the postage stamps which reflect the conservation and restoration of the Trapezitsa Architectural Museum Reserve.
An agreement "On conservation and restoration of Trapezitsa Architectural Museum Reserve and construction and repair of its technical infrastructure" was signed in Sofia in 2015.
Under the agreement, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation carried out the restoration and preservation of the 150-meter long Western Wall of a historic monument, the construction of 700-meter long tourist alley, the creation and provision of a cultural centre, the repair and preservation of three churches on the territory, and the creation of a transportation infrastructure for visitors.