FRESNO — Investigative researcher Simon Maghakyan will speak in a virtual presentation on “Heritage in Peril: Artsakh’s Cultural Monuments in the Aftermath of Invasion” at 7:00PM on Monday, January 29, 2024. The Zoom registration link is:

The event is the first in the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2024 Lecture Series and is supported by the Leon S. Peters Foundation Fund.

The last Armenian prayer in Artsakh was held at Dadivank on October 1, 2023, following Azerbaijan’s invasion and ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh. What happens to the monuments that Armenians had to leave behind? What can stakeholders do to prevent the scenario of Nakhichevan, where in 1997-2006 Azerbaijan eradicated the entire known inventory of Armenian Christian heritage? The talk will discuss current monitoring efforts and explore pathways for raising the cost of destruction to Azerbaijan and creating sustainable incentives for preserving Artsakh’s cultural monuments.

Simon Maghakyan is an investigative researcher and cultural heritage defender. He is a Ph.D. candidate in heritage crime at Great Britain’s Defense Academy (Cranfield University), a Community Scholar at the University of Denver, a Visiting Scholar at Tufts University, and an incoming Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford University’s Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Maghakyan’s investigative exposés on Azerbaijan’s state-sponsored erasure of Armenian cultural heritage have been cited at the International Court of Justice and praised as “rock solid” by The Guardian. His writing has been featured in numerous news outlets, including Time, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, and he has appeared, among other outlets, on Democracy Now! and the BBC. Maghakyan’s recent collaborative investigation in New Lines Magazine exposed the secret Azerbaijani facility that served as a basis for “concentration camp” fears in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2023.

For information about upcoming Armenian Studies Program presentations, please follow us on our Facebook page, @ArmenianStudiesFresnoState or at the Program website,

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