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Artsakh: Azerbaijan levelled hundreds of Armenian churches, cemeteries

Artsakh: Azerbaijan levelled hundreds of Armenian churches, cemeteries

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Memorandum of Artsakh's (Nagorno Karabakh) Foreign Ministry on the state of historical and cultural monuments in Artsakh and Azerbaijan was published on the United Nations (UN) official website on Wednesday, July 11.

According to a statement provided by the ministry, Azerbaijan destroyed 167 Armenian churches, 8 monastic complexes, 123 historical cemeteries during the Soviet period, as well as during the war.

The Memorandum was earlier circulating 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, 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," the Ministry said in a statement.

"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 Nakhijevan, 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.

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