To UNESCO Director-General Dear Mrs.Odre Azule -

To UNESCO Director-General Dear Mrs.Odre Azule

To UNESCO Director-General
Dear Mrs.Odre Azule

As you know, since 1988 Armenia has been waging the occupation war against Azerbaijan. 20% of Azerbaijan's territory was occupied by armed forces of the Republic of Armenia. Armenia attempts to create affected and vandalized grounds for the occupation of the Azerbaijani lands in order to justify its occupation policy. The application of the right of ownership to the cultural heritage in the occupied Azerbaijani territories by the Republic of Armenia is, in fact, the violent isolation of Azerbaijan from its cultural values.
Armenia acts illegally by misappropriatingthesamples of movable and immovable cultural heritage, destroying and erasing from the earth Islamic religious monuments.
Armenia using the cease-fire in the frontline over the past 25 years has changed tens of hundreds of toponyms, names of administrative settlements, names of real estate and cultural monuments into Armenian in the occupied territories.
It is expedient to ensure the protection of the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan under the occupation by the authoritative international organization – the UNESCO headed by you. Although cultural heritage of a nation is national cultural and historical wealth, these examples are generally part of humanity and are part of the human culture. Therefore, the destruction, changing the form of a nation's cultural heritage by another nation, people, or nations is inadmissible under the international conventions and the programof the organization you lead.
The Second Protocol, adopted in 1999 to the Hague Convention of 1954, enlarged the scope of cultural property protection during armed conflicts. In particular, in the context of occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia, Article 9 of the Protocol prohibits the illegal trade of any cultural property, any samples of the archaeological excavation in the occupied territories, taking from these territories, destruction or changing characteristics of cultural, historical or scientific proofs of the monuments and maintains their prevention.
On December 21, 2012, in Paris, at the 7th Session of the UNESCO Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property during Armed Conflicts, a decision was made on the protection of cultural property in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
The resolution outlines the obligation of the occupying countries to submit a report on the protection of cultural property in the occupied territories and the possibility of sending technical missions to these territories.
The Republic of Azerbaijan, as a member of UNESCO's Committee for the Protectionof Cultural Property during Armed Conflicts, provides Azerbaijan with access to internationally recognized legal documents on the protection of historical and cultural monuments. The Committee should therefore encourage Azerbaijan to oversee the protection of its historical and cultural monuments in the occupied territories and to convey to the occupying State the importance of the protection of cultural property in the conflict zone. 

 

Dear Mrs. Azule 


We would like to point out that as a result of Armenia's military aggression along with the cultural heritage of Azerbaijanthedocument monuments, architectural monuments, historical monuments, archeological monuments, art monuments, museums, books, manuscripts and archiveshave been subjected to plunder and destruction.
The general content of the illegal activities carried out by the Republic of Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is as follows:

• The silver handbag takento Armenia from the historical and ethnographic museum of Lachin region in 1993 was sold at a “Sothebychr (39)s” auction in London for $ 80,000.
• A written stone sample was torn out from the temple located in the south-west of Migidere village inLachin region in 1998 by Armenians and is being kept in Matadaran,the museum of ancient manuscripts in the city of Iravan, Armenia, under No. 3437.
• Two artistic stone samples taken from the monument inTagaser(Armenian -Qtcveng) village of Khojavand region are being kept in Matadaran, the museum of ancient manuscripts in the city of Iravan, Armenia, under No.7822, No. 7823.
• During the years 1993 to 2016, carpets plundered from the Azerbaijani museums and taken to Armenia were offered for sale in USA, Germany, France, England, Saudi Arabia and other countries in 1992 as Armenian brand;
• 68 Moslem mosques were totally destroyed in the territories occupied by Armenia, and 4 mosques were demolished and brought to an unrecognizable state.
• 71 historical sepulchers, 150 graveyards wholly, and 250 cemeteries were partly destroyed by the Armenian population;
• Over 150,000 samples of cultural heritage, including 102,757 museum exhibits from 23 museums, 376 paintings from 4 State Art Galleries, 4,6 million books from 761 libraries, 260,000 archived documents from 13 archives, 50,000 historically significant hunting and household items kept in private collections of many citizens were plundered by Armenians and taken to Armenia. Some of them have been sold to different countries around the world, some of them have been gifted to prominent people and some of them are kept in various establishments of Iravan city and in private properties;
• More than 1,500 architectural monuments in uncontrolled areas under occupation are at risk of tumbling down as a result of unexpected natural disasters;
• 64 gardens-parks - monumental and memorial monuments were destroyed and replaced with Armenian memorial monuments. 1814 architectural monuments were renamed and promoted as Armenian historical and cultural monuments.
• changing formsof 50 immovable historical and cultural monuments have been repaired illegally, inscriptions on the wallshave been removed and they are promoted as Armenian historical and cultural monuments.
• The bell towerwas built on the temple belonging to the era of the Caucasian Albania.
• More than 5,000 Armenian cross symbols were erected in the Azerbaijanisettlementcenters and in the Muslim cemeteries surrounding these centers.
• attempted to mask their criminal acts by conducting illegal archaeological excavationsat around 747 archeological monuments with the participation of citizens from the USA, Russia, England, France, Spain and other foreign countries;
• 1510 Cultural Institutions, including, 365 clubs, 761 libraries, 193 Culture centers have been destroyed.

Illegal activities were carried outin the occupied territories of Azerbaijan (1992-2018) - in Shahbulag ofAgdam- 1, in Khojaly district - 4, in Khankendi – 3, in Khojavenddistrict - 4, in Shusha city - 3, on Shusha - Fuzuli road - 1 and in Kelbajardistrict – 2, in Lachin - 1 and in Zabukhvillage of Lachin district 1 new Armenian churches have been built.

This activity of the Government of Armenia contraverses the provisions of the 1954 year’s Hague Convention. Armenia's inhumane policy against the historical and cultural monuments of Azerbaijan under occupation is inadmissible under international law and conventions. According to international norms regulating the legal status of cultural values, return to Azerbaijan of Azerbaijan's movable cultural valuesplundered by Armenia as a result of military aggression by the Government of Armenia should be ensured.

 

Dear General Director,


We request you to demand from Armenia the report about the state of protection of cultural property in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and to ensure the sending of technical missions with our participation to territories of Azerbaijanin Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regionsoccupiedby Armenia.