Azeri Destruction of Armenian Monuments Featured on UN Website

The demolished Armenian cross stones in Djulfa
The demolished Armenian cross stones in Djulfa

The demolished Armenian cross stones in Djulfa

STEPANAKERT—On July 11, a memorandum by the Artsakh Foreign Ministry about the state of the historical and cultural monuments in Artsakh and Azerbaijan was published at the United Nations’ official website. Earlier, the foreign ministry memorandum was circulated in the UN, as well as the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

The document emphasizes that all the architectural monuments in the territory of the Republic of Artsakh are the property and heritage of Artsakh. They are included in the State Register of Immovable Historical and Cultural Monuments and are under the state protection.

Being a responsible member of the international community and attaching great importance to the preservation of cultural and historical monuments, the Republic of Artsakh, on a voluntary basis, undertook commitments stemming from the European Cultural Convention, the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage and the European Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe. The corresponding instruments of ratification were sent to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on 22 December 2014 and 30 June 2015.  In compliance with the undertaken commitments, the Government of the Republic of Artsakh allocates funds annually for the preservation of historical monuments, regardless of their origin.

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The document presents facts that refute the false accusations of Azerbaijan on the destruction of Islamic monuments in the territory of Artsakh. The Memorandum notes that besides false allegations, Azerbaijan does not present any evidence and merely attempts to attribute its own approaches and actions to the Armenian side. In this context, it is stressed that during the Soviet period, as well as during the war, Azerbaijan destroyed 167 Armenian churches, 8 monastic complexes, 123 historical cemeteries.

Today, Azerbaijan continues its deliberate policy to destruct the Armenian monuments in the territories under its control. Moreover, during peacetime the Azerbaijani authorities completely or partially destroyed all the Armenian cultural and historical monuments of Nakhichevan, where until the end of the 20th century there were 218 Armenian Christian monasteries, churches and chapels, and more than 4,500 khachkars (cross-stones) and, at the same time, only 6 mosques.

The document expresses concern over Azerbaijani authorities’ attempts to interpret the construction of churches in Artsakh as a violation of international humanitarian law and to attach religious character to the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict.

In this context, the document stresses that there is no single clause in international Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, which restricts freedom of religion, including building of places of worship. Armenians have been building churches for over 1700 years, long before the appearance of Azerbaijan itself. According to the position of Artsakh, the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict is not of a religious nature, but it is a clash of two systems of values — an aspiration to freedom and democracy, from the side of Artsakh, and an attempt to suppress by force the inalienable right of the people of Artsakh to decide their own destiny, from the side of Azerbaijan.

The Memorandum also includes numerous visual materials testifying to the deliberate destruction and desecration of the Armenian monuments by Azerbaijan.

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4 Comments

  1. State of Emergency said:

    And so the world keeps looking on…..nothing new, it’s been going on since Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s time. The only solution lies within Armenian unity and strength. No one, and I repeat, NO ONE, will ever come to our rescue. Not even Mother Russia to all the Russophiles out there!

  2. Hagop said:

    I HAVE SAID AND WILL ALWAYS SAY THAT ARMENIA SHOULD NOT RELY ON OTHER COUNTRIES! ALL COUNTRIES HAVE BETRAYED, BACK STABBED, IGNORED AND USED US!!! IF ARMENIANS ARE UNITED, RIGHTEOUS, ACT-THINK-WORK-FIGHT AS ONE (LIKE THE JAPANESE), THEN NOBODY CAN EVER CONQUER ARMENIA!!!!

    IT ALL BEGINS WITH LAW AND ORDER! LAW AND ORDER! LAW AND ORDER!!! NO STINKING SOVIET MENTALITY OF SCAMMING, STEALING, PUSHING, SHOVING, ROBBING, MURDERING, CUTTING IN LINE!!!!

    ACT AND BEHAVE LIKE CIVIL PEOPLE! DO YOUR JOBS WELL, WITH PRIDE AND HONOR FOR YOUR NATION! REINVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE! SOLAR, AIR, INTERNET, EDUCATION, MILITARY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY! MAKE BABIES! MAKE BABIES! MAKE BABIES TO REPOPULATE ARMENIA!

    ALL CITIZENS OF ARMENIA MUST OWN AND KNOW HOW TO OPERATE A WEAPON!

  3. Steve said:

    There was not a “partial destruction” in Nakhchivan, it was total, 100% destruction, even including the destruction of Armenian structures that Azerbaijan had officially claimed to be Azeri (such as the church at Krna which is claimed to be a mosque in Azeri encyclopedias). However, your headline photo is false – those were khatchkars damaged in the 1900s during the construction of the railway line. We should also note that the Norwegian Embassy, which in the 2000s paid for the “Azerification” of Armenian churches in Azerbaijan (Armenian dedicatory inscriptions were destroyed, Armenian graves removed, apses lowered, and finally their re-presentation as being “Caucasian Albanian”) is also currently sponsoring in Yerevan Architecture Museum an exhibition that has been sent from Turkey about Ani in which the city is “Anatolianized” and presented as being a multinational multicultural settlement.

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