Azerbaijan's Milli Majlis (Parliament) recently passed new legislation to protect the architectural milieu of the country. The three laws are: "About Architectural Activities," "About the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments" and "About the Principles of Town-Building." These new laws will help preserve and restore the harmonic unity of Azerbaijan's historic architecture. They will also play a significant role in helping to develop the cities and towns located along the new Silk Route, which will pass through Azerbaijan.
architecture is in an unfortunate state of anarchy, especially
since independence. There are no laws in place to protect the
city's rich architectural heritage. For example, irrelevant and
extraneous changes have been made to some of the facades of buildings.
Unappealing and unattractive extensions have been built onto
apartment balconies. Private homes and public buildings have
been reconstructed in every style imaginable. Sidewalks made
for pedestrian traffic have been disrupted by stairways leading
into store entrances. Often, the new construction looks strangely
Alakbarova is a member of the Azerbaijani Parliament. She serves
as Deputy Director on the Permanent Committee of Problems Related
From Azerbaijan International (6.4) Winter 1998.