Azerbaijanis distort Shushi's Ghazanchetsots Church under pretext of renovation –Artsakh's Ombudsman

Armenpress 21:27, 3 May, 2021

YEREVAN, MAY 3, ARMENPRESS. 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 people against whom hatred had been sown for years at a state level. Under the pretext of the so-called ‘’renovation works’’ the Azerbaijanis are distorting one of the most important Armenian religious monument - Church of the Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots of Shushi. We have witnessed in numerous cases how Azerbaijan treats to the Armenian cultural values and that’s enough for understanding what’s going on under the pretext of ‘’renovation works’’. The goal is eliminating the Armenian presence and trace’’, Gegham Stepanyan said.

He emphasized that for years Azerbaijan has led a policy of Albanizing the Armenian Christian culture in Artsakh or attributing to other nations – an act that has been criticised 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.

''If Azerbaijan is really concerned with the preservation of the cultural values and ''is renovating'' it, a major dilemma emerges. What's the reason for Azerbaijan not to allow the independent expert group of the UNESCO to visit the region? We voice about the vandalism against the Armenian culture by Azerbaijan every single day, informing the relevant international organizations about it'', Stepanyan wrote.

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.

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