Vankasar Church in Martakert as it was

Azerbaijan removed cross from church in Artsakh’s Martakert


YEREVAN ( — Photos posted on Azerbaijani social media platforms on February 6 show the cross of the Vankasar Church in Artsakh’s Martakert region has been removed.

The Azerbaijani propaganda machine falsely claims the church was originally the heritage of Caucasian Albania, Cultural Ombudsman of Hayk Hovik Avanesov warns.

“This is yet another evidence that Azerbaijan is carrying out state-sponsored cultural genocide in occupied Artsakh,” he wrote on Facebook.

Vankasar Church now, with the cross removed

Avanesov cited Article 4 of the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict which prohibits any act of vandalism, theft, robbery or misappropriation of cultural property in any form, and also imposes an absolute ban on any acts of revenge against cultural property.

“Moreover, according to PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe] Resolution 2583, denying the Armenian cultural heritage and attributing them to Caucasian Albanians was recognized as an ‘Azerbaijani fiction,’” the expert added.


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