Debates around dismantled poet’s monument aboil in Azerbaijan
Dismantling of monument to Mikayıl Müşfiq on February 26 caused stormy reaction in Azerbaijan. Employees of the Azeravtoyol (motor road) dismantled the monument with the aim to “develop the area.” The Ministry of Culture and Baku Executive Authorities were not notified in any way.
The monument had been included into national monuments’ list. As Zarik Sultanov, the Head of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism told Qafqazinfo News Agency, the Ministry intended to file a suit against Azeravtoyol.
Dismantling of the monument caused the public outcry.
Nargiz Pashayeva, the Rector of the Baku Branch of the Moscow State University (she is a sister of Mehriban Aliyeva, the Azerbaijan’s Vice-President) termed that case as “an act of vandalism and barbarity.” “This is a sin and desecration of the great poet’s memory,” Pashayeva told haqqin.az website.
Chingiz Abdullayev, the Secretary of the Azerbaijani Writers’ Union, the author of popular detective novels, commented with bitter irony on the monument dismantling: “Why not dismantling a stele in the building of the Azerbaijani Writers’ Union with names of Azerbaijani writers repressed in Stalin’s times? It would not be a bad thing to dismantle a monument to Sabir, who unflatteringly commented on Muslims, to dismount the statue of Nizami, who wrote all his works in Farsi, to eliminate a monument to Nasimi, who was killed in Syria though he could die in his homeland. A monument to Fużūlī, whose grave is also located in the foreign country, is to be ruined for the same reason. On the whole, he wrote in three languages,” haqqin.az quoted Abdullayev as saying.
According to Azeravtoyol, responsible for the monument dismantling, “the monument was taken away not to damage it during works on road repair. It is in the storehouse. It would be installed in the same place after the completion of the works and a large park will be also laid there,” Anar Najafli, the agency’s Spokesperson told the Minval news portal.
The dismantling of the monument was widely discussed on social media. Here are some typical posts by various social media users:
“I hope the monument to Müşfiq will be moved to some more reachable place. One could get to that small public garden between two busy streets only if a flat is bought somewhere in a house behind it or by a transit – going down or upper or by a mistake. Poor trees.”
It has not simply been used here to dismantle monuments for a long time – it does not matter the monument to whom. In Azerbaijan the memory was “eradicated”, the history was “extinguished.”
“They wanted to turn Baku into a city without culture. The monument to Hatayi was dismantled there, now they took up Müşfiq. The central streets are named after unknown people. The city turns into a kolkhoz market.”
- Mikayıl Müşfiq (Mikayil Abdulkadir oglu Ismayilzadeh) 1908-1938, is Azerbaijani poet and writer, who made a considerable contribution into Azerbaijani literature despite his short life. He poetized love and beauty in his numerous poems. He also expressed his points of views on social and cultural issues in his poems. Mikayıl Müşfiq became a victim of Stalin’s repressions, he was killed in 1938.