Azerbaijan removed cross from church in Artsakh’s Martakert

Photos posted on Azerbaijani social media platforms show the cross of the Vankasar Church in Artsakh’s Martakert region is missing.

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.

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 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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