Cultural genocide

  • by Western Armenia, November 27, 2023 in Culture

Gagik Gyurjian, executive director of the Armenian office of the International Committee for the Preservation of Monuments and Landmarks, spoke to about the Azerbaijani cultural vandalism in Artsakh, as well as the necessary steps taken by the Armenian side. According to him, non-governmental organizations constantly raise this issue on international platforms. Moreover, the vandalism of Baku to build a road on the historical Armenian cemetery of Shushi was once again brought to the attention of the world.

"Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with UNESCO, should solve the issues raised by public organizations.

Now, for example, ICOMOS, which is an advisory body of UNESCO, and whose national committee we are, raises a question regarding the problems related to the historical and cultural heritage of Artsakh. The call has already been made, ICOMOS has a European branch and has raised this issue in the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe also called on us to make this an official document. Now we, as a non-governmental organization, are applying, but we are referring to the issue raised by our MFA to UNESCO," Gagik Gyurjian noted.

According to him, the issue was raised in such a way that a monitoring group was sent to Artsakh in order to get acquainted on the spot, because it is better to see it once than to hear it a hundred times.

Gagik Gyurjian answered the question, "Are international structures generally interested in the fate of Artsakh's historical and cultural monuments, and how do they respond to these problems?"

For example, the general assembly of ICOMOS held in Sydney 1.5 months ago, where the Armenian side raised the issue of making pilgrimages to the historical and cultural places of Artsakh, and Dadivank and Amaras were specifically mentioned, which were active places of pilgrimage before the Azerbaijani occupation.

Regarding the possible visit of UNESCO representatives to Artsakh, Gagik Gyurjian expressed his fear that if they should enter Artsakh through Baku, the Azerbaijanis will prepare them with their false theses on the spot.

"Azerbaijan considers Gandzasar or other churches to be Udi or Aghvani, they will spread this thesis to the representatives of UNESCO. Everything depends on the composition and level of the visit. If they have to take them and present that they are Udinese, then I am sure they will be convinced, for that serious specialists should visit," concluded Gagik Gyurjian.