The opening ceremony of the Villa Petrolea, the Family Residence of Nobel Brothers in Baku (1884-1920) was held on April 25, 2008. Distinguished guests and officials from Sweden, a direct descendants of the Nobel Brothers, delegations of the Nobel Family Society and Nobel Charitable Trust together with Azerbaijani officials and dignitaries attended the opening ceremony. Earlier in the day, the Nobel family members were received by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan His Excellency Ilham Aliyev.
Among the speakers at the opening ceremony were First Vice Prime Minister Yagub Eyubov, Minister of Energy and Industry Natig Aliyev, Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfaz Garayev, Vice Speaker of the Milli Majlis (Parliament) Valekh Aleskerov, Mayor of Baku Hajibala Abutalibov, as well as, Member of the Swedish Parliament and Vice President of PACE, Mr. Goran Lindblad and Swedish Ambassador to Azerbaijan and the region Mr. Hans Gunnar Aden, who read the congratulatory letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden His Excellency Carl Bildt.
Villa Petrolea was fully restored and renovated by the Baku Nobel Heritage Fund at its own expense. This unique project was realized under patronage and leadership of His Excellency President Ilham Aliyev.
Villa Petrolea became the inspired home to the Nobel Brothers Museum, International Business Centre and Baku Nobel Oil Club. The whole record of the Nobels’ contribution to the development of science, culture and oil industry in Azerbaijan is fascinating. They created one of the major oil companies in the world at that time and first vertically integrated and were regarded as true oil kings of 19 and 20 centuries.
The Chairman of Baku Nobel Heritage Fund Dr. Bagirov said: “This event is a unique example in the post-Soviet era, when a huge piece of Nobel Brothers’ world heritage was restored. Nobel Brothers did a lot for development of Azerbaijan, considered this country as their second homeland and Villa Petrolea - as their dear family home.”