STEPANAKERT — Under the guise of so-called “restoration,” Azerbaijanis are distorting one of the most important Armenian cultural values – the Ghazanchetsots Holy Savior Cathedral in Shushi, Artsakh’s Human Rights Defender Gegham Stepanyan wrote on his Facebook page.
”Azerbaijan cannot renovate the cultural heritage belonging to people against whom hatred had been sown for years at a state level. Under the pretext of the so-called ‘’renovation works’’ the Azerbaijanis are distorting one of the most important Armenian religious monument – Church of the Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots of Shushi. We have witnessed in numerous cases how Azerbaijan treats to the Armenian cultural values and that’s enough for understanding what’s going on under the pretext of ‘’renovation works’’. The goal is eliminating the Armenian presence and trace’’, Gegham Stepanyan said.
“For years, Azerbaijan has pursued a state policy of albanianizing the Armenian Christian culture in Artsakh or attributing it to other nations, which has been repeatedly criticized by historians and culturologists for a simple reason: these attempts are baseless both in terms of historical chronology and cultural-architectural features,” he continued.
“If Azerbaijan really cares about the preservation of cultural values, then the question arises why it has not allowed an independent UNESCO expert group to visit the region,” Stepanyan added.
“We raise the issue of vandalism against Armenian culture by Azerbaijan on daily basis informing the relevant international organizations about what is happening. However, the issue does not go beyond criticism or calls, while clear steps are needed,” the Ombudsman said.