“Thus, the Armenians want to obliterate the historical traces, the spiritual memory of the Azerbaijanis who lived for thousands of years in these territories,” the chairman said. “The Armenian vandalism is also observed in relation to the Azerbaijani historical monuments located in the occupied territories.”
“There are 403 historical and religious monuments in the occupied territories, including 67 mosques, 144 churches and 192 sanctuaries,” Gurbanli said. “These cultural samples belong not only to the Azerbaijani people, but to the entire humanity. From this point of view, protection of the monuments is of international importance. This is aggression not only against Azerbaijan, Islam, but also against the culture of mankind.”
“The Armenians not only dismantled the inscription on the 'Upper Govheraga Mosque' in the Azerbaijani language and replaced it with a board with the words 'Historical and Cultural Monument, Upper Mosque, 1883, is protected by the state'. They also changed the facade of the mosque,” the chairman said. “This must be seen as a continuation of vandalism aimed at the heritage of the Azerbaijani people.”
Gurbanli stressed that the destruction and intentional damage to historical and cultural monuments as a result of the arbitrariness of the Armenian occupiers contradicts the 1954 Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property during armed conflict, the 1992 European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage, and the Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972.
“Despite this, the invaders continue to carry out illegal archaeological excavations on our territory, destroy historical monuments and mosques, and falsify our historical and cultural heritage,” the chairman said.
“Not only Islamic monuments, but also monuments of the period of Caucasian Albania are subjected to aggression in the occupied territories,” Gurbanli said. “The acts of falsification and misappropriation of all Christian monuments are committed in the occupied territories.”
“We have repeatedly sent the appeals to the international organizations on this issue,” the chairman said. “We demanded Armenia to be hold legally accountable for its vandalism. We want these atrocities to get an international assessment.”