ICOM Azerbaijan calls for protection of Azerbaijan's historical and cultural heritage [PHOTO]
By Laman Ismayilova
ICOM Azerbaijan has released a statement on the protection of historical and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan in the Armenian-occupied territories.
The statement says that for almost 30 years, Armenia has continued to illegally occupy around 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally-recognized territories of Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.
The UN Security Council condemned the Armenian invasion and occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories, making its position clear and unambiguous by adopting four resolutions (822, 853, 874, 884), which addressed Armenian aggression.
The Security Council condemned the seizure and occupation of all occupied areas in Azerbaijan and demanded the immediate cessation of all armed hostilities along with the unilateral withdrawal of occupying forces from all those regions and areas. That was in 1993. However, Armenia violates all the above-mentioned resolutions and a ceasefire agreement signed with Azerbaijan in 1994.
It was also noted that starting from the early morning on September 27, units of the Armenian armed forces, grossly violating the ceasefire, shelled Azerbaijani positions using artillery mounts. Today, the Armenian army deliberately targets the civilian population, and damage civilians’ facilities and infrastructure, and hospitals in Azerbaijan`s Tartar and Goranboy regions, grossly violating the requirements of the regulation of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions.
Hundreds of cultural institutions, including 22 museums and museum branches with over 100,000 artefacts, 4 art galleries, 4 theatres, 2 concert venues, 8 cultural and entertainment parks, more than 700 historical and cultural monuments, including Khudafarin bridges with 11 and 15 arches in Jabrail region (7th-12th centuries), the Ganjasar and Khudavand temples in Kalbajar (13th century), a mausoleum in Khachyn Turbatli village of Aghdam (14th century), Azykh cave in Fuzuli, one of the world’s oldest settlements, and Shusha State Architectural Reserve, along with residential, educational, industrial and agricultural facilities in the territories occupied as a result of Armenia’s vandalism and aggression against Azerbaijan have been either destroyed or damaged. Vandalism, destruction, and appropriation of Azerbaijani historical and architectural complexes on the occupied territories continue today. Currently, Azerbaijan responds to Armenian army attacks with a successful counter-offensive operation to put an end to the injustice, to the 30-year-long occupation.
Azerbaijan is an active member of the international bodies such as UNESCO, those are built and empowered to prevent further devastations caused by armed conflicts. There are the 1954 Hague Convention, the 1972 World Heritage Convention, and many other international agreements aimed at preventing the annihilation of human heritage.
The destruction and desecration by Armenia of the cultural heritage in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is the atrocity not only against the people of Azerbaijan but also against all humanity. Putting an end to the brutal aggression and preventing further destruction, should be a concern of not only Azerbaijan but also the whole world.
Being a public organization, ICOM Azerbaijan unites the country's museums, science, culture and art figures as well as all those directly connected with museum work.
ICOM Azerbaijan was established by the Azerbaijan Ministry of Culture in 1993. From its first days, Azerbaijani museums created close relationships with the world’s museums in order to popularize the country's cultural heritage.
For this purpose, representatives from such national museum institutions as Azerbaijani State Museum of Arts National Carpet Museum, Samad Vurgun House-Museum, Shirvanshahs Palace Architectural Reserve Museum, the State Museum of Musical Culture and Art Gallery have participated in conferences, workshops, trainings etc in Paris, Stavanger, Melbourne, Barcelona, Seoul, Washington, Shanghais, Vienna, Nairobi, Abidjan, Edinburgh, Naphplion, Barbados, Moscow, and St.-Petersburg.
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