Baku, November 21, AZERTAC
“Under the Azerbaijani President’s relevant decree, temporary administrative commandant's offices were established in the liberated lands, which also include the Ministry of Culture. This once again shows that our President attaches great importance to culture. As the Ministry of Culture, we are proud to be at the forefront, and we consider this issue as a sacred mission. I would like to note that the commandant's offices operating in five districts have representatives of the Ministry of Culture assigned to each district. The delegates have already started their work,” said First Deputy Minister, Acting Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan Anar Karimov in his interview with AZERTAC.
“Their mission is to study the condition and ensure preservation of cultural institutions and historical monuments in the liberated lands. The preliminary results of the monitoring identified that there were 151 cultural institutions, including 72 libraries, 62 culture houses and clubs, 8 museums, 9 children's music schools in these districts. With heartache I must say that all these enterprises are in a state of disrepair. During the monitoring, 67 historical monuments were found, 34 of which were completely destroyed by the occupiers. The monuments of national importance are among them. They include Khudafarin bridges, the Red Albanian temple in Khojavand district, another Albanian temple in Hadrut, the Maiden's Tower in Zangilan and the Eight-cornered tomb in Mammadbayli village, the Caravanserai in Garghabazar village of Fuzuli, and our 18th century mosques in some districts. All the aforementioned monuments have either been destroyed or turned into stables for pets. This is not only against international law, but also against human values and Islam.
We strongly condemn all this. These atrocities contradict the conventions adopted by UNESCO in 1954 and 1970. In general, Armenian vandals were engaged in the removal of traces of the millennial existence of Azerbaijanis in these areas. It should be called a policy of cultural terror and cleansing. Because 30 years ago, the Armenians first carried out the ethnic cleansing and then tried to end the process with cultural cleansing. The goal here, of course, was to completely erase everything belonging to Azerbaijanis from those territories. Traces of Armenian misappropriation, and falsification of historical facts were also found in the above-mentioned territories. This is an activity against the Albanian temples. Many of our temples and churches in Nagorno-Karabakh, which are the heritage of Azerbaijan and belong to the Caucasian Albania, have been appropriated by Armenians. They did this to strengthen their claims to those territories. Of course, this could not go on like that. We will invite international experts and register the facts in the falsified historical monuments, and declare these crimes to the whole world," Anar Karimov said.