Armenian cultural heritage under Azerbaijan control after 44-day Artsakh war is barbarically destroyed by the enemy. In order to present the cases of vandalism to the international community and raise the level of public awareness, the meeting was held in Yerevan “Artsakh`s endangered heritage: in the node of challenges”. It coincided with the international Day of Monuments and Sites. The event was attended by officials of the sphere of culture of Armenia and Artsakh, international organizations, clergymen, monument experts.
“The meeting is held with a clear goal: to raise the level of public and professional awareness, to formulate and analyze the challenges, to combine the efforts to provide physical and information security of the cultural heritage. The historical experience of our struggle for losses and values is great, from the raids of nomadic tribes to the destruction of the unique khachkars of Jugha and the caring heritage of Artsakh, which have been the reflection of civilizational and value incompatibility”- Vahram Dumanyan the acting Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia said in his opening speech.
In his opinion, our task is to develop mechanisms for resistance, for that purpose an upcoming action plan has developed in the National Conference of UNESCO, in which scientific and non-governmental organizations and departments participate.
Lusine Gharakhanyan the Minister of Culture of Artsakh Republic mentions that the fate of 13 monastic complexes, 52 castles, 122 churches, 523 khachkars and 4 chapels is endangered. She mentions that the Museum of Arthur Mkrtchyan of Hadrut, the Historical Museum of Shushi, the State Geological Museum, the State Museum of Fine Arts, Carpet Museum, Tigranakert Historical-Archaeological Fortress Museum are under control of the enemy and Hunot Gorge is still in the neutral zone.
“The second genocide has started today. The genocide after the genocide. We are trying to prevent it in various ways, with the help of peacekeepers, the Foreign Ministry and international organizations but there are still no concrete steps to force Azerbaijan to stop”, said Lusine Gharakhanyan.
It was told about the violations registered in the territories of Armenian Monuments at the meeting. Viktorya Isahakyan, the head of the department for the Protection of Monuments of the “Historical Cultural Reserve-Museum-Historical Environment Protection” SNCO
spoke about the cases of unauthorized /illegal/ constructions, treasure hunters, theft, vandalism.
She mentions that “Protection Service” SNCO appeals to the police on the facts of violations but the problem is to prevent, reduce and exclude those cases. She touched on raising public awareness, to form a system of values. There was also a reference to illegal burials, it was mentioned that the reason was the lack of land funds of the communities, the presence of family graves in the territory of the monument, etc.
In the evening, after the meeting a concert was held in the yard of St Anna Katoghike Church / At the concert “Tagharan” ensemble, Yerevan State Chamber Choir, “Folk-Modern” folk instrument orchestra, “Agape” chamber choir were performed/.
At the end of the concert the letters of thanks were handed over to various subdivisions of the Ministry, including the staff of the “Protection Service” SNCO, for their voluntary participation in supporting the transfer of historical and cultural heritage from the occupied territories of Artsakh Republic.