CHW: Armenian basilica in Karabakh's Azeri-controlled areas under threat

CHW: Armenian basilica in Karabakh's Azeri-controlled areas under threat

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Holy Mother of God church (S. Astvatsatsin) in the village of Taghavardin Nagorno-Karabakh's Martuni region is under threat, Caucasus Heritage Watch reports.

The settlement came under Azerbaijan's control during the 44-day war in fall 2020.

CHW now says that between June 10 and July 12, the western part of the village was bulldozed, and the destruction zone extends to the edge of the church. The basilica was built in 1840. Architectural details can be found at Monument Watch.

CHW also called on the Azerbaijani authorities to save the Armenian church, and urged international agencies, governments, and the public to call for its preservation.

Azerbaijan has destroyed several cemeteries, at least one church, dozens of Armenian heritage sites and monuments since taking control over Karabakh territories.

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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