Azerbaijanis displaced a khachkar installed on the road to Berdzor (Lachin)

A video posted on David Simonyan's Facebook page on June 27, 2022 clearly shows how a group of Azerbaijanis move a khachkar installed on the road leading to Berdzor (Lachin). According to the same source, the new road being built by the Azerbaijanis, bypassing the city of Berdzor, will go through this section. It starts from the territory adjacent to the village of Kornidzor in the Syunik region, goes through the villages of Hinshen and Metsshen in Artsakh and ends in Lisagor.

Our response

The cultural heritage that has been created by a particular community (Armenians of Artsakh), is valuable and real in the form, meaning, location and landscape in which it was created, and any change is clearly detrimental to the authenticity and integrity of this heritage, as well as distorts its function. Any cultural value becomes valuable if it is interconnected with the surrounding territory and nature, and alienating it from its own cultural landscape violates the principles of heritage conservation, like many international standards.

The displacement and relocation of the khachkar first of all violates the principles of its authenticity and integrity, the principles arising from the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, from the Nara Document on Authenticity adopted in Japan in 1994, the ICOMOS and Burra charters, as well as documents other international organizations.

The preservation of heritage in all its historical manifestations and chronology is rooted in the values ​​of heritage, and our ability to perceive it depends on the degree of reliability of the sources of information about them. It is they who create the necessary basis for determining all aspects of authenticity, which should make it possible to understand the type of cultural heritage object, its features, significance and history (Nara Document on Authenticity, 1994, Japan).

The perception of authenticity plays a fundamental role in all processes related to cultural heritage and its preservation. Heritage sites should be studied and evaluated in the context of the cultural context in which they are located. Phenomena of authenticity may include form and layout, materials and components, use and function, installation, tradition, location and performance, spirit and emotion, and external and internal factors. In addition, in accordance with the third paragraph of Article 9 of the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 "On the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict" (1999), "Protection of Cultural Property in Occupied Territories", any transformation of cultural property is prohibited , including their uses and functions.