The Statue of Nizami Ganjavi Unveiled in Lakitelek

The statue of the legendary poet of the Turkic peoples, Nizami Ganjavi, who in the 12th century lived on the territory of modern day Azerbaijan, was inaugurated in the Pantheon of the kin peoples in Lakitelek. The event was attended by Ali Huseynli, the Deputy Speaker of the Milli Majlis, the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Sándor Lezsák, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary, who is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Public College in Lakitelek. The members of the Budapest Youth Turkic Ensemble, which was established with the support of the Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in Budapest, also participated in the ceremony of the unveiling of the statue – the work of Györgyi Lantos – of Nizami Ganjavi

In his remarks, Sándor Lezsák stressed that the Azerbaijani people, as well as the Hungarians, were able to rely on the faith and writings of Nizami Ganjavi, they could gain strength from the world represented by him and also build on it. The Deputy Speaker recalled that the first, the Christian Pantheon, beside the Bible House and the Chapel of St Stephen, has become the home of the confessor high priests and the clergymen, the martyrs of the 20th century. And the National Pantheon in front of the Kölcsey House is waiting for those who in some way have been or are still related to the Public College, and have been shaping its spirituality in the past decades. “This is the harbor of Hungarian values,” added Sándor Lezsák. As he put it, the Pantheon of our kin peoples is ever enlarging, although the representatives of the Turkish, Uzbek and Turkmen people are still missing.

In his speech, Ali Huseynli pointed out that the event of unveiling the statue demonstrates that “the Azerbaijani and the Hungarian people share a common history and are to have a common history too.” He reminded the audience that the Azerbaijani people are celebrating their victory, the restoration of their sovereignty over Karabak. As the Deputy Speaker of the Milli Majlis said the Hungarians took a stand for the Azerbaijani people in difficult times. So the Hungarians should not forget that behind them Azerbaijan in the Caucasus is standing as a solid rock.

János Szentmártoni, the Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation, responsible for arts and social education, underlined that it is a great feeling that the members of a large family sit down at the same table. The Hungarians were able to experience this in 2018 when they were granted an observer status in the Turkic Council (today the Organization of Turkic States). The Deputy State Secretary reminded of the fact that the first statue in the Park was the bust of the Kazak poet and Manaschi, philosopher and translator, Ibrahim Abaj Kunanbajuli, born in the 19th century. This was followed by the statue of Sajakbaj Karalajev, the Kyrgyz poet, the excellent Manaschi from the 20th century.

Nizami Ganjavi was born in 1141 in one of the ancient cultural centers of the Azerbaijani nation, and spent his whole life there till 1209. He was not only a poet but a philosopher as well, and was well versed in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, botany, as well as in music and fine arts. His main work, five epic poems – Five Treasures – today belongs to the masterpieces of world literature.

In the opinion of János Szentmártoni, the memory of the poet is cherished by Azerbaijan in accordance with his significance in world literature. The art of Nizami Ganjavi has its roots in the traditions of the Azerbaijani people, their way of thinking and cast of mind. His home country can rightly be proud of him. János Szentmártoni emphasized that a mausoleum in Baku preserves his memory, and one of the station of the underground in the capital bears the name of the poet. What is more, the year 2021 – the 880th anniversary of his birth – was declared by the Government of Azerbaijan the Ganjavi Year. During the Memorial Year several events were held, commemorating the work of the poet.

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