Cultural Genocide. Tsarini

  • by Western Armenia, February 28, 2024 in Culture

On February 21, 2024, on the Facebook page of the "Historical-Cultural Heritage Research Center" SNOC, St. Sargis and St. Photos of St. Gregory churches taken from Azerbaijani Internet sources.

Judging by the photos, the Azerbaijani side has started some works around the churches. The area in front of the Ekeghi residents has been leveled, traces of construction machinery work are visible.

Judging from the photos, an iron net will be installed around the churches, the area will be fenced and construction works will be carried out. It can be seen from the photos that St. Sargis Church is damaged. 

To the right of the entrance to the church is the hewn stone in the lower part with cross figures and the following inscription. "I will give Hayratun to Saint S[ar]gis: A." Hamadk/i land. Me: A. I will give you an hour in Tzarzardi. T.:..." (cf. DHV 5, 219, where the unit of land measurement, "hamadki" is represented by "hamabki".

The "restorers" smashed and removed the second slab along with the second line of the record. Let's note that "hamadki" as a unit of land measurement is evidenced only in the unique inscriptions of Artsakh and this vandalism is an irreparable loss for Armenian lithography.

Baku's "promises" to invite "international experts" and to carry out restorations in accordance with the highest standards, as always, result in the erasure of Armenian traces.

As a result of Azerbaijani "rehabilitation" works, there is a great risk of damage to the appearance of the church, because the Azerbaijani side considers the inscriptions on many of the churches in occupied Artsakh, the khachkars placed on the walls, and the stones with cross motifs to be artificial and not typical of the "limestone" churches. Considering this circumstance, we see St. Sargis and St. Great danger of further destruction of the inscriptions and crucifixes, khachkars of St. Gregory churches.

Here, it is important to emphasize the resolution 2582 "On the destruction of cultural heritage in Artsakh" adopted by the European Parliament in 2022, where the European Parliament obliged Azerbaijan to ensure the exclusion of any interference in the Armenian heritage areas, to preserve the principles of heritage authenticity, and to carry out restoration works exclusively according to the principle.