Aliyev declares Shushi "the cultural capital of Azerbaijan”

Aliyev declares Shushi

PanARMENIAN.Net - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Friday, May 7 signed a decree to declare the city of Shushi "the cultural capital of Azerbaijan”.

Baku took control of the city during large-scale military hostilities unleashed by Azerbaijan against the Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in fall 2020. In mid-October, Azeri forces launched two targeted attacks on an iconic Armenian church – the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral – injuring civilians sheltering there and journalists covering the war.

Photos spreading online show that Azerbaijan has removed the domes of the Cathedral, and a khachkar, angels and other ornaments are missing too.

Concerns about the preservation of cultural sites in Nagorno-Karabakh are made all the more urgent by the Azerbaijani government’s history of systemically destroying indigenous Armenian heritage—acts of both warfare and historical revisionism. The Azerbaijani government has secretly destroyed a striking number of cultural and religious artifacts in the late 20th century. Within Nakhichevan alone, a historically Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani forces destroyed at least 89 medieval churches, 5,840 khachkars (Armenian cross stones) and 22,000 historical tombstones between 1997 and 2006.

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