June 16, 2011 - 13:24 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - On June 15, a photo exhibition titled Khachkar Craftsmanship opened in Paris in the framework of scientific conferences organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“On the opening day of the exhibition hosting the Armenian Deputy Minister of Culture and Armenian Ambassador in France Vigen Tchitetchian, the guests faced an unpleasant surprise,” said Jean Eckian, freelance French journalist.
The attendees were embarrassed to see that the quotations indicating the place of origin of each Khachkhar (cross-stone), had been removed without any clarification on the part of organizers of the event. Only dates were indicated under the photos, according to Eckian.
He said that the Armenian organizations of France and Switzerland vigorously protested against attempts to deny the cultural heritage of Armenia.
On Nov 17, 2010, UNESCO decided to inscribe Armenian Cross-Stones Art, symbolism and Craftsmanship of Khachkars on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Taking into consideration the fact that Khachkar is the acting tradition for all Armenians, its inscription on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage provides grounds for maintenance and transition of knowledge, rituals, traditions and craftsmanship connected with Khachkars to next generations.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan attempted to protest the decision and claimed that Kachkars “are not Armenian.”