BAKU, Azerbaijan, Apr.9
French 'Lagazetteaz.fr’ online newspaper released a review of an article published by Mondafrique, on the Azerbaijani cultural monuments in Karabakh, destroyed by Armenia during its occupation of these lands, Trend reports.
The article emphasized that on November 10, 2020, Azerbaijan put an end to the almost 30-year-old Armenian occupation and restored its territorial integrity (as a result of 44-day war from late Sept. through early Nov.2020).
Mondafrique said during the 27-year occupation of Karabakh, Armenia destroyed and looted cities, nature, cultural and historical monuments in the occupied territories, and no specific work on the region’s development had been carried out (by Armenia), and because of this occupation, Armenia itself was unable to economically develop.
Ghost city of Aghdam
“Over the decades, after the proclamation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918 and the arrival of Azerbaijani immigrants from Europe, the city of Aghdam gradually became the cultural center of the region, where, as in Europe, theaters, museums, opera houses, libraries and cinemas were opened,” said the article.
After the occupation of Aghdam during the Karabakh war, it was turned into a 'ghost city'. The Armenians completely destroyed more than 5,200 houses and buildings. Nothing has survived from the historical heritage of the city. Unfortunately, this is a sad reality that is observed throughout the territory of Karabakh.
“According to the census of monuments and cultural objects of the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, in the liberated territories before the occupation there were: 286 libraries, 237 houses of culture and clubs, 19 museums, 24 children's music schools, 1 cinema, 2 theaters and 2 galleries, in total 571 cultural institutions. Almost all of them have been destroyed,” said the article.
“According to the inventory, here were 67 mosques, however, unfortunately, due to the Armenian occupation, only one has survived, and it is in a terrible state. This is the Aghdam Mosque, which has been preserved as an observation post," the article said.
Destroyed Orthodox churches
“Another example is the destruction by the Armenians of the 127-year-old Russian Orthodox Church in the Khojavand district. Besides, the statue of (famous Azerbaijani poet) Muhammad Fuzuli in the Fuzuli district, the memorial museum of (Azerbaijani poet) Sary Ashyg in the village of Gulabird of the Lachin district, the bust of (the poet) Molla Panah Vagif and the tombstone of the poetess Khurshidbanu Natavan in Shusha city were destroyed,” said the article. “The palace of the Karabakh khanate’s ruler Panah Ali khan was destroyed by Armenians in 1992.”
Houses burned during latest hostilities
The article further said that unfortunately, destruction took place during the last hostilities in the 44-day war, when Armenians tried to inflict maximum damage on the nature and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan.
“Azerbaijan has already started to restore the liberated territories. The renovation program is in full swing. The total destroyed area in the territories exceeds 10,000 square kilometers. Three airports and hundreds of kilometers of railways are being built on the liberated territories,” said the article.
“Soon, an infrastructure, including new schools, hospitals, sports and cultural centers, should be created that will allow people to return to Karabakh,” the article said.