Shiraz photo exhibition opens in Pecs
Shiraz photo exhibition opened in Pecs, sister-city of Shiraz, with the presence of cultural and diplomatic officials of both countries and urban high-ranking officials and citizens of the city and some Iranian university students from Pecs University.
Péter Hoppál, the Representative of Hungarian National Assembly and chairperson of Iran-Hungary Parliamentary Friendship Group, Zsolt Páva, the former mayor of Pecs, also attended the opening ceremony of this event.
Before this cultural event, both mayors and the representative of Hungarian National Assembly laid wreath at the statute of Hafiz, the great Iranian poet.
Iranian Ambassador to Hungary, in the opening ceremony, said “this day is an important date in the bilateral calendar of sister-cities of Pecs and Shiraz. We are gathering here, in the lovely and beautiful and historic city of Pecs to inaugurate the exhibition of photos of Shiraz, the most eminent and prestigious city of Iran through the millenniums.”
He, then, continued: “Shiraz has been not only the cradle of civilization of Iran. And today marks our common and shared intentions and the fruitful path that we are committed to go through.” He also added “I hope that the very warm relations between the two cities continue and similar photo exhibition of Pecs will soon be inaugurated in Shiraz.”
Addressing the audience at the opening ceremony, Mohmmadhassan Asadi, Shiraz mayor, said “on behalf of the heaven-like city of Shiraz, the city of lofty domes and science and literature and the capital of culture and art and civilization of Islamic Iran, I am pleased to convey the message of peace and friendship from the esteemed citizens of Iran and cultured citizens of Shiraz to the distinguished people of Hungary particularly the citizens of Pecs.”
Asadi referred to the similarities of Shiraz and Pecs as two sister-cities, and said “Shiraz is the city of Hafiz whose thoughts and poetry have inspired many world litterateurs. It is the city of Saadi, whose book of Bustan has been enlisted among top 100 books of all time.”
Then he continued “like Shiraz, Pecs enjoys a high scientific status beyond the borders of Hungary and its historical and civilization backgrounds is well known.” He referred to Pecs as the “city of firsts” culturally and scientifically. He went on to say “this city is the home to the first university of Hungary, one of the oldest European universities, and the first Hungarian public library.”
Highlighting the 100-year anniversary of Iran-Hungary diplomatic relations, Asadi said “today, we witness a new chapter of cultural exchange is being opened between these two sister-cities and the determinism of the Shiraz-Pecs urban managers to foster these deep-rooted ties.”
Having acknowledged the persistent commitment of Pecs to the sister-city relationship between both cities, Asadi said “I appreciate the contributions of my colleagues at the municipality of Pecs to organizing the photo exhibition of Shiraz’s exhibition which offers an opportunity to know Shiraz better and refreshes my compatriots’ memory towards Shiraz.”
He also appreciated the selection of Tudásközpont to hold the exhibition as the place which is reminding the selection of Pecs as the European Capital of Culture in 2010 and its proximity to the statuette of Hafiz Shirazi as a symbol of everlasting friendship of Shiraz and Pecs.
Attila Péterffy, Mayor of Pecs, expressed his gratification in this ceremony and said “It is an honor for us that the delegation of Shiraz presents the city to our interested citizens with such an excellent photo exhibition.”
He continued “We see pictures of a metropolis with milling crowds, ancient and national monuments – a city, where people love life there. Almost the same can be said about Pécs, as we also have historical monuments, a rich cultural life and its residents also love their town.”
He added “we should not look for differences, but for similarities in each other. This is true for our sister city relations, and especially true for our sister city Shiraz in Iran.”
“What Pécs means for Hungary, that means Shiraz for Iran,” he said and continued “ancient cultural and artistical hub, university city and regional administrative center.”
He added “We have a sister city agreement since 2016, and this relationship has also concrete results. An example of this is the bust standing in the courtyard of this building, which commemorates Háfiz, the famous poet of Shiraz, lived in the 14th century. Or even the bilingual, Hungarian-Farsi book of poems, which introduces 50 ghazals of him.”
Referring to Csokonai Vitéz Mihály, an Hungarian Poet, who wrote an ode on Hafiz 200 years ago, Péterffy said his ode “is the first work of an European poet that commemorate a Persian poet. Since last year a plaque commemorates this at the tomb of Hafiz in Shiraz.”
“It is a great pleasure for me” he said “that the sister city relationship will be enriched with this photo exhibition. Anyone who come here and looks at these pictures will definitely want to get to know Shiraz and the people who live there.”
He finally expressed his thankfulness “for bringing this experience to our city and for persistent work in building the relationship between Pécs and Shiraz.”
It is worth mentioning that Shiraz and Pecs entered into sister city relationship on 9 May 2016.