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Baku 2015 is today celebrating the start of the 50 days to go countdown to the inaugural European Games with a special event bringing sport and art together in the heart of the city.
Eight talented artists – four from Azerbaijan and four from other European countries, including award-winning French artist Daphné Bitchatch – were invited to Baku to paint statues of the European Games’ mascots, Jeyran and Nar.
Once the artists have finished painting the statues, they will be placed in different locations around Baku for the duration of the Games for fans to admire.
Mr Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports and Chief Executive Officer of Baku 2015, said: “With only 50 days to go to Baku 2015, I am delighted to welcome all eight artists whose creativity will contribute so memorably to the first ever European Games. Their artwork will highlight the diversity of Europe while being accessible to all fans who come to celebrate Baku 2015.”
The other international artists involved in the event are Alberto Loro from Italy, Inge H. Schmidt from Germany, and Latvian artist Andris Vītoliņš. The Azerbaijani artists include popular local painters Naila Sultan and Eldar Ibadullayev, as well as the two winners of a competition held among students from the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts, Novruzova Fidan and Mirzayeva Farah.
Daphné Bitchatch was delighted to be one of the eight artists participating: “I am absolutely honoured to be invited to help create such a memorable contribution to the first ever European Games. This provides us with a wonderful opportunity to help make Baku 2015 a highly successful event, and also contribute in our own way to the social heritage of the European Games.”
With just 50 days to go to the first European Games, final preparations are underway to ensure a fantastic celebration of sport in Baku this summer. The hosting of test events last week in Boxing and Wrestling marked the end of the sports test event programme, and the Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, Mr Simon Clegg, was delighted with the organisation and success of both events at Crystal Hall and Heydar Aliyev Arena.
He said: “We have seen five days of intense international competition in front of large crowds, which was a great test of our operational readiness. The facilities, ticketing operations, staff and volunteers all performed exceptionally well, and we saw a very high level of competition as a result.
“We’ve been given an exciting taste of the great performances that we can expect to see in 50 days’ time at the Baku 2015 European Games.”
Tickets can be purchased directly from 11 conveniently located ticket outlets around Baku, including Park Bulvar, 28 Mall, and Metro Park Baku, and online at www.baku2015.com/tickets.