Adhan pronounced in the courtyard of Surb Astvatsatsin church in Tsakuri village

On October 6, 2021 Telegram channel @Talish_vestnik uploaded several videos made in Tsakuri village, in which various cultural groups and some individuals were making videos in the courtyard of the Surb Astvatsatsin church and at its entrance.

One of the videos shows a young man pronouncing the adhan in the courtyard of the church. That case clearly violates the religious functions of the Armenian Apostolic Christian Church and thereby poses a threat not only to the intangible cultural heritage of the Armenians of Artsakh, but also to the entire Christian community.

Our reply

The territory of the church of Tsakuri, together with the cultural landscape, including the Christian community and religious people, form a unit and are inseparable from each other. Any action that takes place on the territory of the church is considered an integral part of the cultural landscape of the monument. Pronouncing adhan on the territory of the church is a clear example of the appropriation of cultural heritage, which takes place due to hostility and denial of Armenian traditions.

Once (the Armenian) heritage is appropriated, it loses its main value, the properties of authenticity and integrity, which follow from the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the Nara Document on Authenticity, adopted in 1994 in Japan, the Burra Charter (ICOMOS), as well as documents of other international organizations.

According to paragraph 3 of the 9th article of the Second protocol (1999) of the 1954 Hague Convention "On the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Time of Armed Conflicts", any alteration to, or change of use of, cultural property, including any modification of the form of their usage and function, is prohibited.