The UNESCO governance was informed about the crimes committed by Armenia against our cultural heritage
On October 22, 2020, Acting Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCO Ayaz Gojayev met with the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Cultural Ernesto Ottone.
During the meeting, Gojayev informed the Assistant Director General about the recent act of aggression by Armenia against Azerbaijan. He briefed that as a result of targeting by Armenia the civilian population and infrastructure of Azerbaijan, many civilians, including children and women, have lost their lives, many were injured and many civilian infrastructure was severely damaged.
A. Gojayev noted that as a result of artillery shelling by the Armenian armed forces the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and beyond, the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan in these areas was seriously vandalised. He reported on the damage to the 13th-century Sheikh Babi Yagub Mausoleum, located in Babi village of Fuzuli region of Azerbaijan, the 9th-century Imamzadeh Mosque and the 19th-century Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Church in Ganja city, as well as the demolition of a historic building in the second largest city Ganja. He mentioned that this action of the Armenian side contradicts international law, in particular the 1954 UNESCO Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols.
At the same time, A. Gojayev expressed to E. Ottone his concern about the destruction of Azerbaijan's cultural heritage by Armenia. As an example, he called on UNESCO to condemn the Armenian vandalism, showing the photographs of the destroyed and neglected Aghdam Juma Mosque, as well as the videos of the mosque, situated in Zangilan district recently liberated by the Azerbaijani army.
Moreover, Acting Permanent Delegate called not to believe to the false information spread by Armenia aimed for misinforming the Organization.
In his turn, E. Ottone thanked for the provided information, noting that UNESCO closely monitors the events and the Organization if necessary within its mandate is ready to assist Azerbaijan in the protection of cultural heritage.