BERDZOR, ARTSAKH — The latest satellite images show that Azerbaijan has completely destroyed the St. Ascension Church in Berdzor, the Research on Armenian Architecture NGO informs.

Construction of the church started in 1996. The new domed church built of finely processed basalt was anointed on 31 May 1998.

The destruction of St. Ascension (St. Hambardzum) Church in Berdzor is yet another act of vandalism by Azerbaijan, aimed at the eradication of Armenian cultural heritage, “Geghard” scientific and analytical foundation said in a statement.

“On May 11, 2024, a satellite image published on the Internet clearly showed that Azerbaijan had completely destroyed the St. Ascension (St. Hambardzum) Church in Berdzor. This is another act of vandalism – a typical behavior for Azerbaijan, where one of the primary aims is the eradication of Armenian cultural heritage in the occupied territories.

“This is cultural genocide, which is characterized by deliberate disregard or destruction of the cultural values of an ethno-religious or religious group and is one of the actions associated with genocide. The objective is to establish that this group never lived in the designated area and had no cultural presence there,” the Foundation said.

“Geghard” scientific and analytical foundation reminds that back in 2022, Azerbaijan’s “Public Organization for the Protection of Monuments” propоsed converting the Surb Hambardzum Church in Berdzor into a mosque.

“It is important to note that Azerbaijan’s state policy, under the dictatorial leadership of Aliyev, has openly declared its intention to continue the destruction of Armenian heritage built over the past thirty years. The most evident instance of this was the photograph shown by BBC News on March 25, 2021, depicting the complete destruction of the St. Astvatsatsin Church in Mekhakavan, built in 2013. (https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-56530604).

“Thus, with the tacit consent of the civilized world, the Armenian cultural heritage in the territory of Artsakh is gradually being destroyed. There is little doubt that Azerbaijan will complete its planned cultural genocide, as evidenced by the events in Nakhijevan and other territories under its control.

“Geghard” Scientific and Analytical Foundation strongly condemns yet another act of vandalism by the state of Azerbaijan,” the statement reads.

 

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