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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I Would Like to Thank The First Lady Personally

Vatican City, 23 February 2016 (VIS) – This morning Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, along with Mehriban Aliyeva, president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation (HAF), Azerbaijan, presented the results of the restoration of the Roman catacombs of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter "ad duas lauros", entirely funded by the HAF.


On the basis of an agreement signed in 2012, the Foundation presided over by Aliyev has funded the restoration of the paintings of the cubicle of Susanna and the fossor, the niche of Daniel, the arcosolium of Orpheus, the cubicle of Our Lady with two Magi, and the cubicle of the praying matron. 
 
Arcosolium of Orpheus
The most advanced conservation techniques, especially laser-based cleaning, have enabled the removal of a tenacious black patina that had provided resistant to all traditional cleaning methods. The last procedure, recently completed, involved the cubicle of the "praying matron", in an advanced state of deterioration. The newly-revealed frescoes consist of a central medallion with the Good Shepherd surrounded by the Biblical episodes of Jonah, Daniel among the lions and Noah in the Ark. In the corners there are praying male figures and birds. On the walls there is a rich decorative pattern with floral, plant-based and fantasy elements. On the wall of the entrance there is the notable figure of a praying woman, which although only just recognisable before restoration, now makes a strong visual impact. The figure, framed by two slender trees, may represent the deceased entombed in the cubicle.
What is the Heydar Aliyev Foundation?

The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has been established on the grounds of the nation’s wish to express its esteem for the memory of Heydar Aliyev, who entered our history as a builder of an independent state, and the necessity of reflecting his rich moral heritage, underlining the importance for our country of the philosophy of Azerbaijanism and cultivating the national statehood ideas in our children.

Starting its activity since 2004, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation   has been actively participating in building a new society and contributing to the social and economic development of the country, by implementing various projects in spheres such as education, public health, culture, sports, science and technology, environment, and social and other spheres.

President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation is Azerbaijan's First Lady, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva. 

Mehriban Aliyeva

 By the way, Azerbaijan is 96.9% Muslim.