The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York issued a plea on Tuesday for the preservation of cultural heritage sites in Nagorno-Karabakh, The Art Newspaper reports.

“The recent bloodshed and destruction in the Nagorno-Karabakh is a global tragedy of grave concern to us all,” the Met’s president and chief executive, Daniel Weiss, and director, Max Hollein, said in a statement. “In addition to our plea and hope for the violence to stop, as museum leaders we urge that cultural heritage sites be protected.”

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting human creativity of over 5,000 years from across the globe,” Weiss and Hollein say. “As the organiser and host of the “Armenia” exhibition in 2018—which was the first major exhibition to explore the remarkable artistic and cultural achievements of the Armenian people in a global context over fourteen centuries—we have watched in horror and sadness at the recent violence and bloodshed in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.”

“We implore all those involved to respect these international cultural heritage sites, which enrich our world and have survived for thousands of years,” they add. “The loss of cultural heritage sites is permanent, and is a grievous theft from future generations.”

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