The monastery in Hadrut

Azerbaijan to ‘Restore’ Armenian Monastery as ‘Albanian’

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YEREVAN (PanARMENIAN.Net) — Azerbaijan is going to “restore” the Armenian monastery of the Nagorno Karabakh town of Hadrut as an “Albanian church,” Apa.az reported on May 6.

Azerbaijan’s government announced in February 2022 that it intends to erase Armenian inscriptions on religious sites in the territory that it reclaimed in the 2020 war with Armenia.

It justified the move by arguing that the churches in fact were originally the heritage of Caucasian Albania, an ancient kingdom once located in what is now Azerbaijan. The theory, which is not supported by historians, has long been propagated by nationalist Azerbaijani historians and has been embraced by the current government in Baku.

Armenian writing in the Hadrut monastery

Concerns about the preservation of cultural sites in Nagorno-Karabakh are made all the more urgent by the Azerbaijani government’s history of systemically destroying indigenous Armenian heritage — acts of both warfare and historical revisionism. The Azerbaijani government has secretly destroyed a striking number of cultural and religious artifacts in the late 20th century. Within Nakhichevan alone, a historically Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani forces destroyed at least 89 medieval churches, 5,840 khachkars (Armenian cross stones) and 22,000 historical tombstones between 1997 and 2006.

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