By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Armenia, engaged in vandalism in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, has recently experienced serious anxiety. Some Armenian media even reported that UNESCO is already preparing a mission to occupied Nagorno-Karabakh to assess the state of historical and cultural monuments.
At the 43rd Baku Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, UNESCO Deputy Director General Ernesto Ottone said the organization asks the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to ensure the safety of their experts, and only in this case, UNESCO representatives can visit Nagorno-Karabakh.
However, Armenia for some reason made its own conclusion that the mission is ready and will soon meet the Armenian vandals who are currently erasing the last traces of the true Karabakh history.
Yerevan’s fright was so strong that the Permanent Representative of Armenia to UNESCO hurried to immediately contact Ernesto Ottone and present the fruits of his own fear as a “distortion” of Ottone’s words by Azerbaijan.
Recently Armenia itself complained about the fact that representatives of international organizations do not desire to visit occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. Then why does Armenia become nervous when representatives of UNESCO express their readiness to come to Karabakh?
Apparently, Armenian separatists really have something to fear, and the panic attack that they experienced after Ottone’s words is far from being accidental.
Armenians have already had a negative experience with the UNESCO mission in Nagorno-Karabakh. Therefore, it is necessary to explain why it was so important for the Armenian side to hear from UNESCO that no mission to the occupied territories is planned and why in general Armenia has chill relations with this organization.
A few years ago, Armenians tried to present the medieval center of the Albanian patriarchy - the Gandzasar temple - to the UNESCO list as an “Armenian heritage”. The mission of the organization's specialists arrived in the region and they saw that this temple turned out to be a remake, and this was too conspicuous. UNESCO experts noticed the changes and Armenia failed to deceive the specialists.
Organization’s representatives hinted to the Armenian applicants that the church was Armenianized: its appearance was changed, the walls were laid with slabs so that the ancient Albanian inscriptions could not be seen.
So, the monument could not be included in the UNESCO list. The Armenian side disgraced itself and did not bother anymore the international organization with Gandzasar temple.
Yerevan has never welcomed the idea of the emergence of a technical mission of UNESCO in the Azerbaijani lands seized by Armenia. Several years ago, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan prepared and submitted to UNESCO a report on the destruction of historical and cultural monuments in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh.
However, Armenia prevented the visit to these territories of the impartial UNESCO mission. The reason is that under international law, Armenia’s actions are qualified as vandalism and a crime against the heritage of mankind. The mission would undoubtedly establish the composition of the crime committed by Armenians.
Mass destruction and falsification of historical and cultural monuments in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh contradict the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict which was adopted in Hague (the Netherlands) in 1954.
The Convention provides for the protection of such objects as monuments of architecture, art or history, religious or secular, archaeological sites, manuscripts, books, museums, large libraries, archives repositories, etc. In addition, the destruction and falsification of historical and cultural monuments in the occupied territories violate the UNESCO Convention.
Thus, there are enough reasons for Armenia to be in a disturbing condition.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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