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France insults Azerbaijani culture putting pressure on UNESCO

27 December 2023 12:44 (UTC+04:00)
France insults Azerbaijani culture putting pressure on UNESCO
Abbas Ganbay
Abbas Ganbay
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The separatist clan, having lost their strength and the ability to suck the juices out of life in the territory of Azerbaijan's Garabagh, became complicit with the French pro-Armenian authorities. The massively spreading disease of separatism and anti-religious discrimination continues to manifest itself in France through a gross neglect of cultural values and the morals of friendship. The new variant of separatism should make the authorities think about the vaccination of some officials and that group of people who violate the norms and standards of the above-mentioned principles and are more susceptible to infection.

Today, Azerbaijan, after clearing its territories out of separatism by means of brilliantly conducted anti-terrorist measures, is moving on the newly charted path towards peace and prosperity in the South Caucasus. The past years were not a good scenario for the South Caucasus, where there was a long conflict between the two neighbours, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Today, there is no more conflict, but there are those who had a hand in its inception.

Some adherents of separatism want to promote it through information or propaganda among societies, sharing ideas of revanchism and hatred. The human system is already subject to global changes and wars where world organisations and the world community act based on the worldview of clans and Western elites. Sticking to their ideology and orders of the "master," the adherents of chaos are losing their former rigid grip on reformating the world order.

Sometimes the ship stops sinking as soon as the rats leave. Armenian lobbyists work tirelessly to spread the mythology that has been hypothetically dinned in heads of population in Armenia. Their job has always been to propagandise Armenia's "higher values" and to appropriate someone else's things not created by them.

Although Armenia and Azerbaijan were in enmity with each other, the latter always observed the ethics of respect for the cultural values of the nation and the cultural monuments of the opposing side. This is confirmed by more than 6,000 cultural monuments, memorials, and other Armenian historical landmarks protected under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan. No such thing can be said about Armenia, as evidenced by the destroyed and desecrated graves of Azerbaijanis, mosques, cultural monuments, and what can be found today in the liberated territories that were previously unavailable. The latest separatist vandalism was seen in Zangilan and in the French town of Evian, where the monument to Khurshidbanu Natavan is located.

The pro-Armenian French politicians managed to make UNESCO remain indifferent. It has become known that the pro-Armenian municipality of the French city of Evian-les-Bains, which signed a charter of cooperation with the Azerbaijani city of Ismayili in 2015, recently decided to remove all references to the Azerbaijani park in the city. On June 3, 2017, the official opening of the park took place. After the opening of Azerbaijan Park and the Friendship Spring, the opening ceremony of the monument to the outstanding Azerbaijani poetess Khurshudbanu Natavan was held in the park.

On December 18, opposition representatives demanded that the Municipal Council officially remove all inscriptions related to the park. Their demand came from what they called "dictations" by the "September aggression" of Azerbaijan. Pro-Armenian Mayor Josiane Ley stated that all references to Azerbaijan, including parks and other places, have already been removed.

These actions can be characterised as a cause where another group of people was infected with the virus of "separatism" as a consequence of being nearby. Following the experience of countries in the fight against the pandemic, the French Ministry of Health should have isolated the group of such badly infected people and prevented its spread to the more susceptible group of elderly people. During the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan, Armenia destroyed the Natavan monument, and now the mayor of Evian is daring to carry out this action.

"Today, the threat to demolish the Natavan monument in France demonstrates what "common values" Armenian and French societies have. Racist French politicians, MPs, mayors, and journalists who accuse Azerbaijan of allegedly 'destroying Armenian heritage' in Garabagh should be ashamed," the West Azerbaijan Community said in a statement.

Back in 2017, mutual respect for the culture and values of the two countries coexisted between Azerbaijan and France. Today, France has trapped itself in a pit of manure and cannot realise how it got there. Representatives of the opposition, who put forward these demands because of the anti-terrorist measures taken by Azerbaijan, make us realise that the pit into which they have fallen is deep. In addition to the Monument to the Azerbaijani poetess, there is also a "spring of friendship" in the park, which was a symbol of respect and appreciation for the friendship between the cities of Ismaili and Evian-les-Bains.

One should not expect the French authorities to show culture and its value in such an infected state. As mentioned above, world organisations and communities act out of self-interest and do not serve peace and order. The world-famous UNESCO, the world organisation for the protection of cultural and non-cultural heritage, has its headquarters in France. And what do you think the organisation has done? Inaction.

Back in May 2023, guests from France, including the head of the French community of Gurgy le-Chateau Lou Beaumier, and editor-in-chief of Danser magazine Michel Oden, with the support of the State Committee for Diaspora Work and the organisational support of the Association of Friends of Azerbaijan, paid a visit to the city of Shusha on May 21. They saw with their own eyes the monuments of prominent figures of Azerbaijani culture, such as Natavan, Bulbul, and Uzeyir Hajibeyov, who were shot by Armenian vandals. The guests were informed that during the occupation, Armenians wanted to take the statues to Armenia and melt them down. On the initiative of the great leader Heydar Aliyev, the sculptures were brought to Azerbaijan and kept in the yard of the Baku Art Museum. After the city was liberated from occupation, they were returned to their former places.

Deputy Mayor Jean-Pierre Amadio stood in defence of the monument, paying tribute to Khurshidbanu Natavan.

"She is known as a free woman, and on the monument in Evian she is depicted without a veil. Of course, we support the Armenian people, but culture and art are the most reliable bridges that connect peoples and countries. Should we all clean up and tear down these bridges?" he said.

The monument of Khurshudbanu Natavan also symbolises the memory of the meeting with Alexander Dumas Sr. In 1858, the famous writer and traveller Alexander Dumas Sr. visited Azerbaijan, and Prince Umtsiyev could not miss such an event as a meeting with the famous writer. Dumas was fascinated by the Prince's excellent French language and intelligence, but it was the educated woman of the East, Natavan, who impressed him. What is remarkable in this story of the meeting between Natavan and Dumas is that she gave him a kitset embroidered by her. But having beaten the Frenchman at chess, she received it as a gift from the great writer.

This meeting remains a piece of history for France and Azerbaijan; however, Azerbaijan, unlike those separatist-minded French officials, does not burn French books and does not act based on the weight of a bag of gold.

In conclusion, it is worth recalling that for 30 years, Armenia has been destroying and desecrating the cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people in the occupied lands and preventing the UNESCO mission to these territories. Today, UNESCO is apparently under pressure from the Armenian lobby and does not notice what is happening in the world like other organisations.

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Abbas Ganbay is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @Noend33

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