2000 Armenian monuments captured by Azerbaijan under threat of cultural genocide, Artsakh warns

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YEREVAN, APRIL 27, ARMENPRESS. 2000 Armenian monuments in territories captured by Azerbaijan are endangered, the Artsakh authorities warned.

Artsakh’s Minister of Education, Science and Culture Lusine Gharakhanyan said at a conference that Azerbaijan is carrying out a state-sanctioned institutional policy of destroying Armenian cultural heritage and distorting them. She said they are cooperating with both local and international organizations in an attempt to take action to protect the monuments, however, so far unsuccessfully.

“The fates of 13 monastic complexes, 122 churches, 52 fortresses, 523 cross-stones and 4 chapels are endangered. 127 school libraries with 617 thousand books are left in occupied territories, and 3 regional libraries with 68 thousand 398 books,” Gharakhanyan said at the Artsakh’s Endangered Heritage seminar.

In addition, 10 public and 2 private museums are in the occupied territories.

The Tigranakert Historic-Archaeological Fortress-Museum is now also in Azeri controlled territory, while the Hunot Canyon is in a neutral zone, according to Gharakhanyan.

“The second Yeghern has begun. A Yeghern after Yeghern,” she said, referring to the Armenian term for the genocide.

Gharakhanyan says the Azeri authorities are advancing two directions in their policy, one is the physical destruction of the Armenian monuments, and the other is falsely presenting them to be Albanian. “This is a blow to our identity,” she said.

Editing and Translating by Stepan Kocharyan

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