UNESCO Supports Opening Virtual Branch of Russian Museum in Baku
The official ceremony of opening of the Center for Information and Education “The Russian Museum: the Virtual Branch” took place on April 9th, 2008 in the Museum Center of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Baku).
The UNESCO’s support to the project was provided under the programme aimed at the development of museum profession, introduction of modern ICTs in the museum sphere and strengthening professional networks and partnerships between museums of the cluster countries.
A specially equipped “virtual auditorium” in the Museum Center of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan will give a chance to Azerbaijani audience to take virtual strolls around the Russian Museum and familiarize with the artifacts that are on display at the Museum. The Center will also allow “to visit” all exhibitions held at the Russian Museum and offer special educational programmes for pre-school, school children and students. The educational programmes will be presented in Russian and English with a view to translate them into Azerbaijani in the future.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan Abulfas Garayev, Deputy Minister Sevda Mammedaliyeva, Director of the Museum Center of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan Liana Vezirova, Deputy Director of the Russian Museum and Manager of “The Russian Museum: the Virtual Branch” project Natal’ya Kuleshova, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Russian Federation Vasiliy Istratov, Programme Specialist for Culture of the UNESCO Moscow Office Liubava Moreva and many others.
During the opening ceremony the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan Abulfas Garayev said that the project is important not only from the point of view of strengthening partnership between two countries, but also from the point of view of introducing modern ICTs in the museum sphere. He added that today in Azerbaijan a lot of resources are devoted to museum development, restoration and modernization of museums and building new ones. “Therefore, the virtual branch of the Russian Museum has a special meaning as it will enable residents of Baku to receive necessary information about the Russian Museum without leaving the country” – he said.
The Programme Specialist for Culture of the UNESCO Moscow Office Liubava Moreva spoke about why it is important for UNESCO to support “The Russian Museum: the Virtual Branch” project. “In my view, it is a great and multifaceted project. The UNESCO Office in Moscow works with a number of CIS countries to assist them in establishing a virtual branch of the Russian Museum on the basis of their museums, which corresponds to one of the strategic directions of UNESCO aimed at strengthening partnerships between museums all over the world. And one of the UNESCO's priorities is to enhance the educational component of a museum. Therefore, the project of the Russian Museum is a tool that would allow us to establish a dialogue between professionals and ordinary people interested in culture. I think that today we were present at the very symbolic and memorable event, which involved all generations. Indeed, today in the auditorium apart from representatives of official bodies there were many young people. And it is very important to involve youth into this project, that is, to make the virtual museum to be a truly educational project.”
In the framework of the official ceremony a telecast session with St. Petersburg took place with participation of leading museum professionals, acting Director of the Russian Museum Ivan Karlov, Vice-Rector of the State University of St. Petersburg, General Consul of Azerbaijan in St. Petersburg Gudsi Osmanov and others. The telecast went lively. Both sides spoke about the importance of the project, which would foster cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia.
In the future the UNESCO Moscow Office plans to support opening of Centers for Information and Education “The Russian Museum: the Virtual Branch” in its cluster countries, namely Armenia, Belarus and Moldova.
More about the UNESCO’s support of the “The Russian Museum: the Virtual Branch” project:
Materials of the round table published with the support of the UNESCO Moscow Office: http://www.unesco.ru/rus/articles/2004/polina170120071623120.php