Damages to Azerbaijani culture as a result of Armenian occupation

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The military forces of Armenia raised unfounded territorial claims against the Azerbaijan Republic in the early 1990s, and broking international norms occupied 20 per cent of the territory of our country that was officially recognized by the UN member-countries, barbarously destroyed national cultural monuments.

The first human dwellings like the well-known caves Azikh and Taghlar, burial mounds Garakopak, Uzarliktapa, located in the occupied territory, are expressly used for military purposes and destroyed.

Cemeteries, mausoleums, monuments, mosques, temples, monuments belonging to the Caucasus Albania, and other national cultural heritage in the occupied territory, were destroyed along with burial mounds in Khojaly, Aghdam, Aghdara, Fuzuli and Jabrayil.

Armenian vandals destroyed Ashaghi and Yukhari Govharagha, Kocharli, Mardinli, Juma mosques, museum houses of genius composer Uzeyir Hadjibayov and founder of professional vocal art Bulbul, Khurshid Banu Natavan’s palace complex, estates of Firudin bay Kocharli and the Zohrabbayovs, poet, artist and scientist Mir Movsun Navvab’s house, ancient cemetery, the mausoleum of great poet and vizier of Karabakh khan Molla Panah Vagif, majority of dwelling houses with eastern architecture peculiarity in the territory of historical-architectural reserve Shusha, Panah khan’s estate, Juma mosque in Aghdam, palaces of Hamza Sultan and Soltan Ahmad, mosques, sanctuaries and temples, stone statues, ancient graves, burial mounds, dwelling houses representing historical importance in Lachin, and took transportable material culture monuments to Yerevan.

Destruction of Azerbaijani cultural monuments in the occupied territories is continuing. Occupiers conducted wide-scale and improper archaeological excavations, destroyed burial mounds, and conveyed loot to Armenia.

13 monuments of universal importance (6 architectural and 7 archaeological ones), 292 of state importance (119 architectural and 173 archaeological) and 330 of local importance (270 architectural, 22 archaeological, 23 parks, monumental and memorial monuments, 15 decorative art examples) remained in the ancient Azerbaijan lands Nagorny Karabakh and adjacent regions, occupied by Armenian terrorists.

Besides, 22 museums, where were collected 40 thousand exhibits, 927 libraries with 4,6 million books, 808 clubs, 4 theatres and 2 concert places, 8 culture and rest parks, 4 picture galleries, 85 musical schools, 103.2 thousand pieces of furniture, 5,640 musical instruments, 481 cinema units, 20 movie cameras, 423 videotape recorders, 5920 national male and female attire, 25 large and 40 small attractions remained under occupation.

General damage caused to our republic, excepting immovable historical and cultural monuments, the value of which is impossible to determine, accounts 23 trillion 680 million manat or 6 billion 71 million USD. (The caused damage is estimated based documents of 1994).

The Aghdam Bred museum, the only in the former USSR, was razed to the ground during the bombing of the town. About 13 thousand valuable and rare exhibits of the world-famed Kalbadjar historical and study of local lore museum, about 5 thousand exhibits of the Lachin historical and study of local lore museum were taken to Armenia.

The hard blow was a stroke in our morality as a result of the occupation of Shusha. 8 museums, 31 libraries, 8 culture houses were destroyed and ruined only in Shusha.

About 5 thousand exhibits of the Shusha historical museum, about 1000 exhibits of the Shusha branch of the Azerbaijan Carpet and Popular Applied Art State museum, the State Karabakh Historical museum, more than 300 exhibits of the museum house of composer Uzeyir Hadjibayov, the founder of professional Azerbaijan music, more than 400 exhibits of the museum house of Bulbul, more than 100 exhibits of the memorial museums of the famous musician and artist Mir Movsum Navvab, more than 2 thousand exhibits of the Aghdam historical and study of local lore, more than 3 thousand exhibits of the Gubadli historical and study of local lore museum, about 6 thousand exhibits of the Zangilan historical and study of local lore museum were looted.

The memorial museum of the famous Azerbaijani musician Gurban Pirimov in the Agdam region, the historical and study of local lore museums of the Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Khodjali regions were destroyed as well.

Valuable exhibits, pictures and sculptures, world-famed Azerbaijan carpets, memorial objects of well known Azerbaijan persons and other valuable exhibits were in the museums, looted by Armenian aggressors.

Funds of the Shusha, Lachin and Gubadli art galleries, consisted of works of famous Azerbaijan artists and sculptors, were also destroyed.

Armenian aggressors, demonstrating major barbarism, conveyed statues of great Azerbaijan music workers Uzeyir Hadjibayov and Bulbul, as well as poetess Khurshidbanu Natavan from Shusha to the territory of Armenia. These monuments were shot and damaged with heavy technique in contradictory to all moral norms. Eventually, they were brought to Baku and now demonstrated in the Fine Art Museum.

It is impossible to determine the price of these destroyed, ancient, irreplaceable, valuable, culture monuments of Azerbaijan people.

Preservation of cultural monuments remained in the territory of the Azerbaijani Republic as a memory of our centuries-old history, is an issue of international importance. Azerbaijani cultural heritage is an integral part of world culture.

Destroying and intentional damaging of these monuments by Armenian aggressors in the occupied territories is contradicting the Hague Convention “Concerning the preservation of cultural values during armed conflicts” of 1954, European Convention “Concerning the preservation of archaeological heritage” of 1992, and UNESCO Convention “Concerning the preservation of world cultural and natural heritage” of 1972.

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