Shushi Carpet Museum
Shushi Carpet Museum (Armenian: Շուշիի գորգերի թանգարան) was founded by Vardan Astsatryan in 2011 and opened its doors for public in 2013 in Shusha (Armenian: Shushi, Շուշի), Azerbaijan when it was under the control of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh.
Շուշիի գորգերի թանգարան
The original collection was composed of two parts. The founding private collection included old carpets of famous Armenian carpet weavers from different villages of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The second part consisted of old Armenian carpets found and bought by the founder, Vardan Astsatryan from Austria, Switzerland, Turkey (Istanbul), and Germany.
Until November 1, 2020, the museum had two buildings under its supervision. A fund was established in 2011 due to donors from the United States. Also, in 2012 a proper building was designated for displaying the carpets by donors from Moscow, Russia.
The museum had carpets and traditional historical and cultural artifacts on display. After close examination, these artifacts received expert evaluation, underwent restoration and then were put on display.
Until the end of October 2020, the museum had around three hundred (300) carpets and flat weaves in its collection dating from the 17th-century to the beginning of the 20th-century. The majority of the collection presented traditional Karabakh carpet-weaving and Armenian carpet-weaving styles. Besides the locally woven carpets there were Turkoman, Afghan and Persian rugs, carpets, and flat weaves in the museum's collection. There were also Russian cultural artifacts in the museum. During his visit to the museum on August 2013 unrecognised Republic of Artsakh's President Bako Sahakyan stated that the carpet museum plays an important role in preserving our national traditions and values and also for the development of tourism.
On October 29, 2020, an explosion of a large rocket, amidst heavy shelling of the city of Shushi (Azerbaijani: Şuşa) by Azerbaijani Armed Forces during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, damaged the museum buildings. To avoid further destruction, on November 1, 2020, the most valuable items of the collection (or about 160 carpets and rugs) were evacuated to Yerevan (Armenia), while the rest of the collection comprised of nearly 100-120 carpets as well as other cultural artifacts were left in Shusha.
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