Focus on a Unique Heritage
World Scientific Society works to highlight Uzbek cultural heritage around the world
The World Scientific Society for the Study, Preservation and Popularization of the Cultural Legacy of Uzbekistan has convened a major scientific and cultural forum entitled “Uzbek cultural heritage, a bridge between Uzbekistan and France”.
This stopover in Paris is part of a project called “The Cultural Heritage of Uzbekistan in World Collections”. This major scheme, internationally unique, aims to identify, catalogue and showcase all art objects reflecting Uzbek cultural heritage currently scattered among the largest collections around the world.
Due to its strategic position on the Silk Road, on the borders of Persia, India and China, Uzbekistan has over the centuries been subjected to multiple cultural influences that have inspired an exceptional artistic output.
Preserving the memory of this globally distributed legacy and to ensure its preservation and popularisation is the mission of the World Scientific Society, a non-governmental organisation created in May 2017 in Tashkent and Samarkand, bringing together academics from more than 20 countries.
This initiative has no equivalent in the world, in terms of geographical coverage, research fields and organisation and works with public, state, and international organisations as well as partners in the business community to pursue its goals.
The establishment and continued activity of the World Scientific Society owes to Uzbekistan's growing openness to the world and its policy of developing friendly relations with all countries, and to revive the cultural heritage of the nation.
The principal goal of the World Scientific Society is to create a global database that lists the historical and cultural objects of the peoples of Uzbekistan, collected in many countries, including Russia, Germany, the Czech Republic and Canada.
Agreements have already been reached with directors of a number of major museums for the publication of books and production of documentary videos regarding the Uzbek items and artefacts found within their collections. So far agreements have been made with the following institutions: The Louvre Museum in France, the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum and the Bodleian Library at Oxford in the UK, the National Library of Spain, the Topkapi Museum of Turkey and the Miho Museum in Japan.
To date, more than 30 research trips have been organised to collect information on international collections of art objects originating in Uzbekistan and stored in various museums and private collections. Ten books and albums devoted to Uzbek works in the museums of the Russia and Uzbekistan have already been published, with the contribution of more than 50 scientists from different nations. In addition, twenty documentaries cataloguing the historical and cultural objects of Uzbekistan found in more than fifteen museums worldwide have already been filmed.
Firdavs Abdukhalikov, head of the project, said: “We are proud to be able to lead this ambitious project with the help of the global community. Our goal is to build a foundation which catalogues and explores the art and objects of Uzbek culture over the centuries. This is an example of our nation’s emergence from introspection and our desire to embrace the worlds of science, culture and arts.”
Works are in progress on the digitization and publication of facsimile copies of outstanding masterpieces stored in the world libraries such as the manuscripts of poet Alisher Navoi (British Library, National Library of France, National Library of Russia), a handwritten work by Rui Gonzalez de Clavijo, the Ambassador of the King of Castile to the Court of Temur (National Library of Spain), manuscripts of works by Abu Ali ibn Sina (Avicenna), as well as other valuable writings relating to Uzbek culture.
In France, the World Scientific Society is working with a team of specialists, coordinated by Professor Pierre Leriche, Director of Scientific Research at the French National Center for Scientific Research. Two books that were prepared with the Louvre Museum were presented at the Forum.
Prof. Leriche said, “Uzbekistan is a crossroads of civilizations: the meeting point of Iranian, Western, Indian and Chinese influences. All these civilizations have left monuments that Uzbekistan has at heart to preserve and to make them known to the whole world. We appreciate a strong support for archaeology and an unreserved acceptance of international teams to deepen the history of Uzbekistan.”
The Forum dedicated to “Uzbek Cultural Heritage, a bridge between Uzbekistan and France” took place on Wednesday, October 3. It is organized with the support of an Uzbek company ERIELL, an international oilfield service contractor.