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Baku to the future

— Azerbaijan


Baku’s skyline is marking out the Azerbaijani capital as a city for the 21st century, with its five-star hotels and Zaha Hadid-designed arts centre, but there’s still much work to do to combat its 20th-century

Ali & Nino, Architecture, Corruption, Culture of fear, Development

The passengers waiting to board the flight from London’s Heathrow to Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International are, by an overwhelming margin, male, middle-aged, and given to tattoos and demeanours of purposeful burliness. Surely, you’re thinking, Azerbaijan’s capital is a journey too far for the hordes of stag weekenders who despoil other former Soviet cities such as Tallinn, Prague and Riga. Then you notice the spreadsheets on their laptops and the corporate logos on their clothes, discern the Scottish accents, and discover that a lot of them are…


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