About the conference, organized in Shushi
On May 19-20, 2022, in Shushi, occupied by Azerbaijan, the Ministries of Culture and Nature Protection jointly organized a conference, the main topic of which was the restoration of the cultural image of “Karabakh region”, and the role of culture in a peaceful dialogue. The subject brought up during the presentations and discussions referred to the reconstruction works to be carried out in the region "after the Armenian occupation and after the liberation of Karabakh."
The conference was attended by Salim bin Muhammad al-Malik, President of the Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO), Baghdad Amre, Secretary General of the Turkish Council, Raymond Bondi, Secretary-General of the National Commission for UNESCO in Malta, Miguel Angel Moratinos, High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Director of the International Foundation for Turkish Culture and Heritage Gunay Efendiyeva and others.
The head of ISESCO emphasized the importance of the role of dialogue in the restoration of the region, and the Secretary of the Turkish Council - the importance of the role of Shushi for the Turkiс world.
In his speech, the Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan Anar Kerimov particularly mentioned the work carried out in the historical core of Shushi, which is carried out by the Heydar Aliyev Foundations. Rizvan Huseynov noted in his interview that both Muslim and Christian monuments are being restored in Shushi, the Azerbaijani side has applied for the inclusion of Shushi in the UNESCO list of material heritage, and in this regard, the settlement of Shushi by 25000 Azerbaijanis should be carried out with great care so that the historical core of the city does not suffer.
After seizing Shushi, Azerbaijan began to implement a barbaric policy to eliminate and change the Armenian cultural and historical trace in the city. This process began in the 1960s, when a significant part of the Armenian district of the city was destroyed, most of the city's Armenian churches, monasteries and cemeteries were destroyed.
The various conferences held in occupied Shushi in 2021-2022 aim to legitimize the process of misappropriation and changing the historical and cultural image of the city internationally, presenting the city to the international community and organizations as purely Azerbaijani, and legalizing it.
These tendencies are presented in all the programs and speeches, where Shushi is presented exclusively as an Azerbaijani and Turkish settlement, completely silencing the rich Armenian cultural heritage of Shushi, its historical past, and its many monuments.
In Shushi, and other occupied territories of Artsakh, against the background of Azerbaijan's openly anti-Armenian cultural policy, the calls of various organizations, even the false peace-loving tolerance voiced by Azerbaijan, are an open mockery. It is even more unfortunate that the representatives of international organizations, speaking about regional dialogue and cultural tolerance, remain silent about the destruction of the Armenian historical image of Shushi, the Ghazanchetsots Church, which was shelled twice during the 2020 war, and hundreds of other similar examples of cultural genocide.
The proclamation of the historic city of Shushi, the important center of Armenian culture, as Azerbaijani obviously violates the basic principles of the city's history, its authenticity and integrity.