About Uzbekistan

"The Splendours of Uzbekistan’ Oases" opens at the Louvre Museum in Paris creating long queues of visitors
29 November 2022
"The Splendours of Uzbekistan’ Oases" opens at the Louvre Museum in Paris creating long queues of visitors

The exhibition " The Splendours of Uzbekistan’ Oases. At the crossroads of caravan routes" opened at the Louvre on Wednesday 23 November. The opening was timed to coincide with the visit of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to France.

“This exhibition takes visitors on a fascinating journey to the crossroads of civilisations, in the heart of Central Asia, in Uzbekistan, where Samarkand and Bukhara are household names. But many other trading posts in the region brought to light works of art that are now listed as objects of world heritage" – as mentioned on the official website of the Louvre Museum.

“Genghis Khan, Tamburlaine, Marco Polo – these legendary names live on in our imaginations. Yet Uzbekistan, an intellectual, cultural and artistic centre at the crossroads of India, China and Iran, remains almost unknown with over 170 works, including Uzbek national treasures never before exhibited in the West, and loans from great European and American museums, this unprecedented exploration promises its visitors a few culture shocks as well as moments of sheer wonderment" – also quoted from the description of "The Splendours of Uzbekistan’ Oases" on the Louvre Museum’s website.

Remarkable loans from Uzbekistan, from major European and American museums, presented at the exhibition bring together nearly 180 works and invites visitors to an incredible journey through the history of civilizations, particularly Central Asia and Uzbekistan.
 
The exhibits displayed at the exhibition include monumental wall paintings from the Ambassadors’ Hall in Samarkand and its surroundings, the pages of one of the oldest monumental Korans from the early days of Islam from Katta Langar, in Sogdiana, and other treasures in gold from Bactria (Dalverzin Tepe), silver, silk, and fine ceramics. The exhibition also showcases several masterpieces from the famous 16th century miniature paintings of the School of Bukhara.

The exposition was organized in accordance with the agreement signed between France and Uzbekistan in 2018. French leader Emmanuel Macron and Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who, according to Agence France-Presse, arrived at the Louvre with their spouses, were already able to evaluate the results of the work of specialists on Tuesday.

The "The Splendours of Uzbekistan’ Oases" aroused great interest among the European public, creating long queues lined up at the museum to see the exhibits reflecting the history and culture of Uzbekistan.

The "Treasures of the Oases of Uzbekistan. At the crossroads of caravan routes" will last until March 2023 and is expected to receive 20,000 visitors daily. This will make a great contribution to the popularization of Uzbekistan not only among the French audience but also throughout the world, attracting more tourists to visit Uzbekistan in the future. 

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Did you know?

Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!

Did you know that Uzbekistan lies in the very heart of Eurasia, the coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°

Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world! The country has 4th largest reserves of gold in the world after South Africa, USA and Russia

Uzbekistan is the world capital of melons. They have in excess of 150 different varieties, which form a staple part of the local diet, served fresh in the summer and eaten dried through the winter.

It is Uzbek tradition that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house’s entrance.

Tashkent’s metro features chandeliers, marble pillars and ceilings, granite, and engraved metal. It has been called one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

The Uzbek master chef is able to cook in just one caldron enough plov to serve a thousand men.

When you are a host to someone, it is your duty to fill their cups with for the whole time they are with you.  What you must not do, however, is to fill their cup more than half-full.  If you do that as a mistake, say it is a mistake immediately.  Doing it means you want them to leave.  Wow!  Amazing, right?

To Uzbeks, respect means a whole lot.  For this reason they love it if, even as foreigners, you endeavour to add the respectful suffix opa after a woman's name; and aka after a man's.  Example: Linda-opa and David-aka.  You could also use hon and jon respectively.

Having been an historic crossroads for centuries as part of various ancient empires, Uzbekistan’s food is very eclectic. It has its roots in Iranian, Arab, Indian, Russian and Chinese cuisine.

Though identified with the Persia, the Zoroastrism probably originated in Bactria or Sogdiana. Many distinguished scholars share an opinion that Zoroastrianism had originated in the ancient Khorezm. Indeed, today in the world there were found 63 Zoroastrian monuments, including those in Iran, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thirty-eight of them are in Uzbekistan, whereas 17 of these monuments are located in Khorezm.

One of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran that was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader, is kept in Tashkent. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death. 

Tashkent is the only megapolis in the world where public transport is totally comprised of Mercedes buses. And due to low urban air polution it is one of the few cities where one can still see the stars in the sky.

You would be surprised to know that modern TV was born in Tashkent. No joke! The picture of moving objects was transmitted by radio first time in the world in Tashkent on 26 of July 1928 by inventors B.P. Grabovsky and I.F. Belansky.

Uzbekistan is the only country in the world all of whose neighbours have their names ending in STAN. This is also the only country in Central Asia that borders all of the countries of this region

Uzbeks are the third populous Turkik ethnicity in the world after Turks and Azeris (leaving both in Azerbaijan and Iran)

Did you know that there was silk money in Khiva? Super interesting right? Of course, but the best part of having silk money was that it could be sewn into your clothing.

Famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the Latin world) who was born near Bukhara was the one of the first people to advocate using women’s hair as suture material – about 1400 years ago.

Uzbekistan has a long and bloody history. The most notorious leader of Uzbekistan was Timur (or Tamerlane) who claimed descent from Genghis Khan. His military campaigns have been credited for wiping out some 5% of the world’s population at the time.

If you have thought that some of the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan resembles that from Northern India, then that is because Timur’s great great great Grandson, Babur Beg, was the founder of the Moghul Empire that ruled much of India for almost four centuries! Babur’s great great Grandson was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.

Uzbekistan was once a rum producig country. There is still a real arboretum in Denau (city near Termez on the border with Afghanistan), grown from a selection station that studied the prospects of plant growing in the unusual for the Soviet Union subtropical climate of Surkhandarya region: only here in the whole of the USSR sugar cane was grown and even rum was produced!

Uzbekistan has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new global poll. The annual Gallup Global Law and Order asked if people felt safe walking at night and whether they had been victims of crime. The survey placed Uzbekistan 5th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th. Top five safest countries:

  • Singapore
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Uzbekistan
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