By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijan's second largest city, Ganja, will assume its new role as a Cultural Capital of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) 2017.
A solemn ceremony on this occasion, scheduled for March 18, will be attended be delegates of the CIS countries, Azertac reported.
To make the ceremony memorable, the programme is set to include conferences, events featuring prominent artists and writers, theatre performances, concerts and exhibitions of art and archaeological artifacts. During the events, guests will also enjoy festive atmosphere of Novruz holiday.
The symbol of "Ganja-2017 CIS Cultural Capital" has been already revealed. The eight-pointed star, reflecting the three colors of the national flag of Azerbaijan, and Triumphal Arch, erected in the Heydar Aliyev Park in Ganja, was approved as the main picture for the logo.
Preparatory works at the Heydar Aliyev Center and Park Complex, the main events venue, have been completed. Some 25 pavilions have been constructed here in this regard.
Ganja, locating some 375 km away from Baku, is significant to the politico-economic and cultural life of the country since the earliest of times. The city was also the capital of Azerbaijan, when the country first declared its independence in 1918, thus playing a leading role in the history of the country.
It is one of the science and education centers of Azerbaijan. The city has four public higher education institutions.
Ganja, with about 313,300 residents, has many amenities that offer a wide range of cultural activities, drawing both from a rich local dramatic portfolio and an international repertoire.
The region is famous for its nature, namely Goygol Lake and reserve. A large mountain lake surrounded by the mountains of the Lesser Caucasus was formed at a result of a devastating earthquake that destroyed the mountain Kapaz in the 12th century.
The CIS is a regional organization made up of former Soviet Republics. The purpose of the association is cooperation in political, economic, environmental, humanitarian and cultural fields.