"Gardman-Shirvan-Nakhijevan" responds to Baku's systemic hysteria regarding the protection of Armenian cultural heritage
YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 29, ARMENPRESS. "Gardman-Shirvan-Nakhijevan" Pan-Armenian Union has reacted to the Azerbaijan’s systemic hysteria over the issue of preservation of Armenian cultural heritage noting that over the century of its existence, Azerbaijan has managed to become famous not only for its impeccable practice of ethnic cleansing, but also for cultural genocide and similar crimes, and its willingness to deftly refuse responsibility for these crimes.
The statement issued by the Union reads as follows:
"Since the creation of the Azerbaijani state, the Armenian cultural heritage in the territories of historical Gardman, Shirvan, and Nakhijevan has faced an ontological threat. Unfortunately, over the past decades, we have witnessed the appropriation, mutilation or destruction of Armenian Christian cultural heritage using the most brutal methods. This is a consequence of the deep racial and religious discriminatory consciousness that Azerbaijan possesses at the state level.
Azerbaijan regularly makes groundless accusations against Armenia to deny its share of the crime and responsibility. Meanwhile, a significant question arises: Is Azerbaijan ready to answer where more than half a million Armenians from historical Gardman, Shirvan, and Nakhijevan are? "What happened to their property?" Why and how the Armenian cultural heritage is constantly being distorted or destroyed?
"In the period from 1998 to 2006, with the direct participation of units from the Azerbaijani army, thousands of unique cross-stones and tombstones from the Armenian cemetery in Jugha, which were exceptional examples of material art, were destroyed, and the territory of the cemetery was turned into a shooting range. If Azerbaijan does not admit its crime, why does it not allow international organizations to study the situation on the ground? The answer is simple: when it is impossible to deny reality, dictatorial methods of prohibition and falsification come to the rescue."
The International Court of Justice on December 7, 2021 decided to apply provisional measures, requiring Azerbaijan to take all necessary measures to prevent and punish all acts of vandalism and desecration committed against the Armenian cultural heritage, including churches and other places of worship, monuments , natural objects, graves and other artifacts.
However, even after such a decision, Azerbaijan persists in its actions unhindered. This is evident in the distortion of identity through the 'reconstruction' of Shushi's Ghazanchetsots Church, the vandalism of Kanach Zham (Saint John the Baptist Church), and the construction of a road through the historical Armenian cemetery of Shushi, resulting in an unknown number of tombstones being damaged or simply destroyed."
The list could be continued for a long time until Azerbaijan overcomes its ethnophobic policies and adheres to global standards of humanity and mutual respect."