On the destruction of the information board of the chapel in Dadivank

On September 3, the Карабах сегодня (“Karabakh Today”) Telegram channel shared a video that clearly shows how an Azerbaijani soldier approaches the chapel located not far from the central complex of Dadivank, takes the information board of the chapel, brings it to the person filming the video and defiantly crashes it.

The text of the sign was the following: “This chapel was renovated by Mr. Ralph Yirikian in 2017” (Fig. 1). It should be noted that after the signing of the tripartite agreement on November 9, 2020, the security of the region and the protection of Armenian cultural values were transferred under the control of Russian peacekeepers. Moreover, the Russian base is located a few meters far from the chapel.

It is not the first time that various representatives of Azerbaijan demonstratively break, trample, destroy, disrespect and mock the Armenian cultural heritage. This is one of the main levers for implementing the anti-Armenian policy of Azerbaijan, the main goal of which is to inflict psychological trauma on the Armenians.

Our response

In this regard, we find it necessary to recall that the harm caused to the cultural values ​​of any of the peoples is threat to the cultural heritage of all mankind, because each nation makes contribution to the diversity of the world's cultures. In addition, according to the First Article of the 1954 Hague Convention, which makes the basis for all other international agreements, cultural value, regardless of its origin and owner, is considered to be movable or immovable property ​​of great importance for the cultural heritage of every nation, such as monuments of architecture, art or history, whether religious or secular.

According to the 4th article of the 1954 Hague Convention "On the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Time of Armed Conflicts" the parties are obliged to respect cultural property situated within their own territory as well as within the territory of other parties. It is forbidden to commit acts of hostility, vandalism, robbery, harm and destruction towards these values. According to the First Article of the 1954 Hague Convention, it is forbidden to destroy cultural or spiritual values on the occupied territories.