Azerbaijanis are dismantling the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi, under the pretext of “renovation” in an ongoing and overt effort to erase all Armenian characteristics from the iconic church.
Azerbaijan distorts Church of the Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots in the city of Artsakh’s Shushi under the pretext of ”renovation works”, aiming to eliminate the Armenian presence and trace, ARMENPRESS reports Human Rights Defender of Artsakh Gegham Stepanyan wrote on his Facebook page.
“Azerbaijan cannot renovate the cultural heritage belonging to the very people against whom hatred has been sown for years at a state level,” said Artsakh’s Human Rights Defender Gegham Stepanyan in a Facebook post on Monday, raising alarms about this egregious effort to erase Armenian cultural landmarks.
“Under the pretext of the so-called ‘renovations’ the Azerbaijanis are dismantling one of the most important Armenian religious monuments – Church of the Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots of Shushi. We have witnessed in numerous cases how Azerbaijan treats Armenian cultural values and that’s enough to understand what is going on under the guise of ‘renovations.’ The goal is to eliminate any Armenian trace,’’ added Stepanyan.
He emphasized that for years Azerbaijan has led a policy of identifying the Armenian Christian culture in Artsakh as having Albanian roots or attributing cultural monuments in Artsakh to having emanated from other countries, “an act that has been criticized by historians and culture experts for the simple reason that those attempts are groundless from the perspective of both historical chronology and cultural-architectural features,” said Stepanyan.
“If Azerbaijan is truly concerned with the preservation of the cultural values and is ‘renovating’ them, a major dilemma emerges,” observed Artsakh’s Human Rights Defender, asking: “What is the reason for Azerbaijan not to allow an independent expert group from UNESCO to visit the region? We address the vandalism against the Armenian culture by Azerbaijan every single day, informing the relevant international organizations about it.”
Stepanyan said that concrete measures need to taken in order to end this cultural destruction and misappropriation. He added that nothing is done except for criticizing and making calls, but concrete measures are necessary. The Human Rights Defender of Artsakh noted that the main reason for such a behavior of Azerbaijan is impunity.