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The VI Annual International Art Festival «Maiden Tower» aims to popularize on a global scale the most ancient, mysterious and universally valued monument of Azerbaijan – the Maiden Tower. This monument, located within the territory of Icherisheher (the Old Walled City of Baku) is the symbol of the Land of Fire, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As well as being a pearl of Azerbaijani architecture and one of the legacies of the ancient history and rich traditions of the nation, the Maiden Tower also represents a significant contribution to the enrichment of the international historical heritage and intercultural dialogue. Launched in 2010, the International Art Festival “Maiden Tower” has been successfully held in the capital of Azerbaijan for four consecutive years and once in Cannes, France. Over hundred renowned artists from various countries of the world have already participated in the last four festivals. By decorating models of the Maiden Tower in their own national styles, artists created works reflecting the synthesis and mutual exchange of different cultures and traditions. Since 2012, along with the main objective - promotion of the Maiden Tower – the organizers have decided to draw public attention to the issue of environmental protection. It is planned to hold a parallel event that will involve painting sculptures of a gazelle – one of the Caucasian endangered species. The action aims to raise awareness of the endangered existence of key Caucasian species, the healthy survival of which should be considered our primary goal. International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA), a campaign launched by Mrs. Leyla Aliyeva, the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, has identified the “Caucasian Big Five” – five animals that are under the threat of extinction – bear, eagle, wolf, gazelle and Caucasian leopard. Among these animals, the “jeyran” or gazelle has been chosen as the main symbol of the festival. Jeyran gazelles are among the rarest and fastest species in the Caucasus, and they can only be found in the Shirvan State Reserve and the Bendovan and Goychay regions of Azerbaijan.
Annually the festival expands its borders while hold on the parallel events within the project. This year the artists will be offered to paint the Pomegranate and Gazelle Mascots - symbols of the First European Games which will take place this summer in Baku.
An exhibition consisting of the unique works of these artists will be held in Icherisheher for residents of Baku and visitors and also will be exhibited in various countries around the world and will serve both to promote the Maiden Tower as a part of the world heritage and also to underline the principal aim of the festival which is to focus public attention on the problems associated with wildlife protection.