Details added (first published: 11:51)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 14. During the period of occupation, the Armenians destroyed about 200 shrines on the territory of Azerbaijan, Mubariz Gurbanli, Chairman of Azerbaijan's State Committee on Religious Associations, said during the "Caucasian Albania: Religious and social life" X International conference, Trend reports.
He noted that ethnic cleansing and genocide were carried out on the territories of Azerbaijan that were under Armenian occupation for almost 30 years. Gurbanli added that more than 60 mosques and about 200 shrines were desecrated and destroyed; Albanian Christian churches were either falsified, Gregorianized, or wrecked. In addition, an Orthodox church in the Khojavend district was looted and ruined by the Armenians.
"The purpose of destroying or appropriating cultural heritage on the historical lands of Azerbaijan was also to break the connection of these territories with Azerbaijanis and provide false information to the world community," the chairman of the committee said.
He went on to add that by committing these crimes, the Armenian side grossly violated the requirements of the 1954 Hague Convention "On the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict", the 1992 European Convention "On the Protection of Archaeological Heritage" and the 1972 UNESCO Convention "On the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage".