The continuation of acts of vandalism by Armenia against historical and cultural monuments in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is aimed at destroying the cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people in these lands. Such illegal activities as destruction, armenization, appropriation of historical and cultural monuments of Azerbaijan belonging to different historical epochs in the occupied territories underlies Armenia’s malicious policy.
The State Service for the Protection, Development, and Restoration of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Economy told Trend. It was noted that as a result of the aggressive policy of Armenia, architectural, historical, archaeological, cultural monuments, museums, books, manuscripts, archival funds belonging to the Azerbaijani people were plundered and destroyed.
It is the result of the aggressive policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan that over 10,00 place names, names of historical and cultural monuments in the occupied territories were changed to Armenian. Armenia illegally builds Armenian churches in the occupied territories, erects memorial complexes in memory of Armenian terrorists.
“Currently, there are over 2,600 historical and cultural monuments in the occupied territories, 706 of which are registered with the state, however, in fact, most of these monuments have been destroyed or armenized. Of these, six architectural and five monuments are of national importance, and 393 monuments are of local importance, 22 archaeological monuments, 23 monumental, memorial and garden complexes, 17 samples of decorative and applied art.
Starting from September 27, the Azerbaijani army launched a successful counter-offensive operation to liberate its territories from the Armenian occupation. Units of the Armenian Armed Forces driven back along the entire length of the front are shelling territories with a civilian population. During the next such shelling, an artillery shell hit a cemetery near the village of Babi, Fuzuli region, as a result of which Sheikh Baba mausoleum (Inv. No. 213) the protected historical and architectural monument of national importance was seriously damaged.
In addition, on October 4, on the instructions of the military-political leadership of Armenia, the city of Ganja, the second largest city of Azerbaijan, which is an ancient cultural and historical center, was subjected to heavy shelling. As a result, one civilian died. 32 people were injured, serious damage was done to civilian objects, residential buildings, including Men’s gymnasium monument taken under state protection (Inv. No. 3838). At the same time, a nearby shell posed a serious threat to the Imamzadeh Sanctuary complex.
Aimed shelling by Armenia of civilians and civilian objects, historical and cultural monuments, despite numerous warnings from Azerbaijan, made through international organizations, is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, the UNESCO Hague Convention of 1954 “On the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Armed Conflicts”, The UNESCO Convention of 1972 “On the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage”, the European Convention of 1992 “On the Protection of Archaeological Heritage” and other norms of international law, as well as the continuation of the aggressive policy of this country.