Talking about the term “cultural genocide”, we cannot but refer to the destruction and impoverishment of the Armenian Christian culture in the occupied territories of Artsakh by the Baku government during the 44-day war and since November 9.  This testifies to the policy of the Azerbaijani state to destroy the traces of the Armenian spiritual heritage.

In addition, the Armenian culture is being “Aghvanized”, i.e. churches and other monuments are being denied as Armenian and attributed to Aghvans.

In order to record the state of Artsakh’s cultural heritage and its changes, the “Monitoring of Artsakh’s Cultural Heritage” program was created in 2021. According to the platform, about 90 Armenian cultural monuments were destroyed in the territory that came under the control of the Baku government after the war.

On March 29, 2021, a video was published showing Armenian churches being used for military purposes. Azerbaijani soldiers are living in the churches. During the filming, the soldiers were eating, beds and other things were seen in the footage.

In Shushi, the cultural center of Artsakh, the Surp Amenprakich Ghazanetsots Church in Shushi was severely damaged during military operations. On October 8, the Azerbaijani army shelled the church twice. International Human Rights Watch considered this a possible war crime.

After the capture of Shushi, its sanctity was desecrated. The Azerbaijani army wrote notes on the walls of the church. Months after the war, it became known that the Azerbaijanis had “restored” the church, and the dome of the church was removed.

All this gives the government of Western Armenia an undeniable basis to claim systematic vandalism of Armenian cultural heritage and to demand international condemnation and prevention of these crimes in order to protect the cultural heritage of the indigenous people of Artsakh.

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