Armenia bears international legal responsibility for acts of vandalism against Azerbaijan’s material and cultural monuments, said Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
Hajiyev was commenting on the statement made by a representative of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry.
As part of the occupation policy against Azerbaijan, Armenia is pursuing a policy of systematic vandalism, such as destruction, looting and appropriation of cultural and religious monuments in the occupied Azerbaijani territories as well as distorting the origin and purpose of these monuments, the spokesman noted.
“The destruction of the cultural heritage in the occupied Azerbaijani territories and in the Armenian territory, which is the historical Azerbaijani lands, is an atrocity not only against the people of Azerbaijan, but also against all humanity. A representative of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, in a statement to the press, indirectly confessed that as an occupying state Armenia is trying to evade from international responsibility,” he said.
Hajiyev pointed out that precise numbers have been determined of the amount of Azerbaijani cultural monuments vandalized by Armenia.
He emphasized that a total of 1,891 material and cultural monuments in the occupied Azerbaijani territories have been looted and vandalized by Armenia, including 738 historical monuments, 28 museums with 83,500 exhibits, 4 photo galleries, 14 memorial complexes, and 1,107 cultural facilities.
“A mosque complex in Jabrayil dating back to the 17th century, the Upper and Lower Govharagha and Saatli mosques in the city of Shusha dating back to the 18th century and the Aghdam mosque dating back to the 19th century have been not only destroyed and plundered, but also turned into a stable for pigs and cattle and an object of insults,” Hajiyev said. “Archaeological monuments such as Vagif Mausoleum, Natavan's House and caravanserai have been destroyed and plundered in Shusha. The property of the Albanian Christian churches located in Khojaly, Kalbajar, Lachin, Khojavand and other districts, which have nothing to do with the Armenian Church, have been appropriated and their architectural features have been changed to be presented as Armenian monuments. The Ganjasar and Kudavang Alban churches in Kalbajar, dating back to the Middle Ages, are noteworthy in this regard.”
According to the spokesman, illegal archaeological excavations have been conducted in the Azykh Cave and around the Aghdam district since 2003.
He noted that the cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people in the occupied territories also shares the same destiny.