Preserving the Cultural and Spiritual Heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh: A Conference at the European Parliament on January 24, 2024

On January 24, 2024, the European Parliament Hosted a Conference on the Protection of the Cultural and Spiritual Heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh, Initiated by the EPP Faction and Deputy Miriam Lexman. Among the speakers were international law professor Pierre d'Aghjan, His Holiness Vardapet T. Garegin Hambardzumyan, cultural heritage expert Armine Tigranyan, author of the scientific work "Armenian Cultural Heritage of Artsakh: Protection Mechanisms in the International System of Heritage Protection", RA Ambassador to Belgium and Head of the RA Representation in the EU Tigran Balayan, and Sneška Quaedvlieg–Mihailović, General Secretary of the "Europa Nostra" organization.

Ahead of the conference, a press conference was held, during which Armine Tigranyan delivered a speech. She outlined the various directions and mechanisms employed by Azerbaijan in the destruction of Armenian cultural heritage in Artsakh. Tigranyan highlighted the extent of the endangered heritage and emphasized the urgent need for proactive measures to address this pressing issue (

During the press conference held before the main event, Miriam Lexman, a member of the European Parliament from Slovakia, voiced her concerns. She emphasized that forcibly displaced people from Artsakh are enduring immense suffering in full view of humanity. Lexman also lamented the destruction of the original Armenian cultural and spiritual heritage, highlighting the lack of accountability for these actions on the part of Azerbaijan. Highlighting the urgency of the situation, Miriam Lexman underscored the imperative for the European Union to exert every effort to safeguard cultural monuments from destruction. She referred to the resolution of the European Parliament "On the Destruction of the Cultural Heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh," emphasizing that the Parliament has called upon organizations such as the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and UNESCO to collaborate closely and take concerted action to protect the Armenian heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh from further destruction. Furthermore, the Parliament urged for the authorization of a UNESCO fact-finding mission to enter the region, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation on the ground.

After the conference, it was decided to collaboratively draft an appeal directed to the executive bodies of the European Union. This appeal will articulate specific and concrete steps aimed at safeguarding the Armenian heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh.