Baku removed the cross of Vankasar church

  • by Western Armenia, February 15, 2024 in Culture

At the end of January 2024, a video was posted on the Azeri togrulavshar Instagram page, where the early medieval church on the top of Mount Vankasar was filmed.

The video shows that the cross on the dome of the church has been removed.

The church belongs to the small cross central-domed type of early medieval Armenian churches and in its volume-spatial composition is very similar to the small churches of Talin, Karashambi, Aylaber. It dates back to the middle of the 7th century.

All the stones in the church bear the masters' marks, most of which are Armenian letters, identical to the masters' marks of the 7th-century temple of Sisian.

The church of Vankasar suffered from serious losses during the Azerbaijan "restoration" in the 80s of the last century. The natural-historical landscape of the monument has been disturbed, the giant rock on which the temple sits has been stoned and paved, the area has been developed with buildings that perform the function of entertainment and entertainment.

The Azerbaijani side has "restored" a volume on the foundation of the church that does not correspond to the original structure.

In fact, in the name of preservation and restoration, the Azerbaijani side subjected the monument to cultural vandalism. The so-called "restoration" of the church of Vankasari during the Soviet years shows what threatens the Christian monuments of the occupied Artsakh, if the Azerbaijani side starts working to "make them look real".The church was "restored" ignoring the structural and symmetrical features of the building.

The cornices were not lined up on the facades, the Armenian inscription and the cross sculpture of the western entrance were deliberately destroyed.

The  facades  were not lined up by the   cornices the Armenian inscription and the cross sculpture of the western entrance were deliberately destroyed. The window openings have also been redesigned.

The methods of implementation of constructive nodes (trumpets, domes, dome, dome) have been changed.

A dome was placed on the church, which has nothing to do with early medieval architecture.

In 1986, when the Azerbaijani "restoration" works were underway, Samvel Karapetyan and Ghazaryan, who were conducting research in the church of Vankasari, authenticated two inscriptions in a semi-fake state, which were later deliberately damaged.

 After the territories were transferred to Azerbaijan control, in November 2020, the Azerbaijan flag was placed on the dome of the church, directly on the cross.

The Hague Convention of 1954, which is also the basis of other international treaties, states in its first article that cultural property, "regardless of its origin or from the owner movable or immovable heritage is of great importance for every nation.

In addition, the open distortion of the monument also violates the decision of The Hague, the International Court of Justice, on December 7, 2021, according to which "Azerbaijan is obliged to take all necessary measures to prevent and punish acts of vandalism and desecration, which are carried out against the Armenian cultural heritage ...".

We also add that the damage done to the cultural values ​​of each nation is a blow to the cultural heritage of the entire humanity, because each nation has its own contribution to the global cultural diversity.