Destruction of the “Park of Sculptures” of the State Museum of Fine Arts in Shushi
According to the satellite photos uploaded on August 14, 2021 on Facebook by our partner “Caucasus Heritage Watch”, 51 artworks displayed in the Park of Sculptures of the State Museum of Fine Arts in Shushi have disappeared and the whole territory has been completely cleared.
The state of the sculptures remains unknown. It is not clear if they were relocated or destroyed. Judging by the video posted on YouTube by user İSMAYILLI RAYONU on August 14, 2021, the park of unique artworks will be turned into a football field (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1ROXk-KSrA, watch from 1:25 minutes).
According to a video shared in winter of 2021 by some Azerbaijani user, the exhibits of the Park of Sculptures of the State Museum of Fine Arts in occupied Shushi were still intact (see video).
Let us recall that the Park of Sculptures was founded on the initiative of Pr. Grigory Gabrielyants and with the efforts of the famous sculptor Vigen Avetis.
The artworks were created in 2011-2017 during five international symposia named after Hakob Gyurjyan, the sculptor from Shushi (2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017). 62 figures were created by 37 masters from different countries - Italy, Belgium, Belarus, Egypt, Russian Federation, India, China, Poland, Serbia, USA, Croatia, Japan, Armenia and Artsakh (51 were exhibited in the Museum Park, the rest - in others districts of Artsakh). The sculptures were born in Artsakh and were presented to the people of Artsakh. (https://www.artsakhtert.com/arm/index.php/culture-and-education/item/27159-2019-07-22-16-02 -03).
In that regard, it is important to recall that the harm caused to the cultural values of any nation is damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind, since each nation contributes to the world's cultural diversity. According to the 4th article of the 1954 Hague Convention "On the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict", any acts of theft, robbery or misappropriation of cultural property in any form, and any acts of vandalism are prohibited.
According to the First Protocol of the 1954 Hague Convention, it is forbidden to destroy cultural or spiritual values in the occupied territory. The Third Protocol of 1999 of the Hague Convention reaffirms this requirements and, according to the 15th article regarding the mentioned actions as an international crime. Destruction of cultural property is prohibited by the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949 for the Protection of War Victims, on the Laws and Customs of War, by four International conventions and protocols, and the relevant UN resolutions and treaties on the protection of human rights.