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History of the establishment

In 2006, The Director of the Museum Centre of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Liana Vezirova, participated in an international round table on the introduction of the project “Russian Museum: Virtual Branch”, organised by the Russian Museum, together with the Committee for Foreign Relations of Saint Petersburg and with the support of the Moscow bureau of UNESCO. Under discussion were questions concerning further action to expand the network of the “Russian Museum: Virtual Branch” project. Representing Azerbaijan, Ms Liana Vezirova confirmed the interest in the opening of an Information/Educational Centre in the Museum Centre of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

It should be noted that 2006 was declared a year of Russia in Azerbaijan. Thus, the realisation of the “Russian Museum: Virtual Branch” project helped in the further strengthening of cultural relations between the two countries.

At a round table in 2007, the Moscow bureau of UNESCO expressed its readiness to support the opening of the centre and offered to examine the possibility of realising the project of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Following proposals from UNESCO’s National Commission of Affairs in Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan selected the Museum Centre to be the base for the formation of the Information/Educational Centre “Russian Museum: Virtual Branch”. Soon afterwards a contract was signed on cooperation between the State Russian Museum and the Museum Centre to introduce cultural and educational programmes and social projects of the Russian Museum by establishing an Information/Educational Centre “Russian Museum: Virtual Branch” in the Museum Centre of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

On 9th April 2008, in the Assembly Hall of the Museum Centre of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, under the aegis of UNESCO, assisted by the Committee for Foreign Relations of the Government of Saint Petersburg and the State Russian Museum, the Information/Educational Centre “Russian Museum: Virtual Branch” was opened. A video conference was held between representatives of the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg and participants in the opening ceremony in Baku.

Further development of the Information/Educational Centre “Russian Museum: Virtual Branch” in Azerbaijan envisages new forms of work and the continual addition of new material to Mediatech.

Also in the future, consideration will be given to the launch of a similar project in Azerbaijan – “Museum Centre of Azerbaijan: Virtual Branch” directed towards the cultural integration of the regions of Azerbaijan.

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