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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 3:28 pm    Post subject: OSKANYAN ADMONISHED UNESCO Reply with quote Back to top

09:52 pm 28 February, 2006

RA Foreign Ministry Vardan Oskanyan met UNESCO Director-General
Koichiro Matsura.

The main subject of the meeting was protection of Armenian cultural
heritage in the neighbour countries. RA FM drew Mr. Matsura's attention
to the menace threatening Armenian monuments, and to the fact of
planned annihilation of thousands of tombs and khachqars in Old Jugha.

Reminding the Director General about his letter sent and passing
him corresponding materials on the destructions V. Oskanyan offered
K. Matsura to send a group of experts to Nakhijevan as soon as possible
to confirm the fact of annihilation and to take respective steps.

In his turn the Koichiro Matsura expressed concern about the situation,
marking that getting the alarm he commissioned his officials to
minutely study the issue and think of possible ways out.
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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:15 am    Post subject: Die Memorialgrabstätte von Djougha existiert nicht mehr! Reply with quote Back to top

Liebe Leserin, lieber Leser,

Die Memorialgrabstätte von Djougha existiert nicht mehr!

Vor ein Paar Minuten wurden auf der Internetseite der Arbeitsgruppe Anerkennung (AGA) die Photos der definitiven Zerstörung, ja der "Tabula rasa", die die aserbaidschanische Regierung in Djougha unternommen hat.

Alle Kommentare scheinen mir überflüssig zu sein.

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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top


YEREVAN, March 16. /ARKA/. The Armenian cemetery in Old Juga, Nakhichevan, Azerbaijan, does not exist any more and is being turned into a military ground.

The press and information department, RA Foreign Office, reports that the last 3,500 out of 10,000 cross-stones that had been preserved by December 2005 have now been completely destroyed.
After clearing the territory, Azerbaijan turned it into a military ground from March 2006.

Mass destruction of Armenian khachkars (cross-stones) was recorded in Old Juga in 1998. After the vandalism was condemned by the international community, it was stopped, but was resumed in 2003.
The last report on the destruction of Armenian monuments was provided in December 2005.

The destruction of Armenian monuments was condemned by representatives of PACE, European Parliament, UNESCO, and other international organizations.

A PACE delegation is expected to visit Azerbaijan this spring to examine the state of cultural values. P.T. -0--

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 PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: AZERBAIJAN: FAMOUS MEDIEVAL CEMETERY VANISHES Reply with quote Back to top

By IWPR staff in Nakhichevan, Baku and YerevanInstitute for War and Peace Reporting, UK
April 19 2006

IWPR reporter confirms that there is nothing left of the celebrated
stone crosses of Jugha.

Jugha Cemetery (13th-16th centuries)
Photographs from 1970s and 2006

It has become one of the most bitterly divisive issues in the Caucasus
- but up until now no one has been able to clear up the mystery
surrounding the fate of the famous medieval Christian cemetery of
Jugha in Azerbaijan.

The cemetery was regarded by Armenians as the biggest and most
precious repository of medieval headstones marked with crosses -
the Armenians call them "khachkars" - of which more than 2,000 were
still there in the late Eighties. Each elaborately carved tombstone
was a masterpiece of carving.

Armenians have said that the cemetery has been razed, comparing its
destruction to the demolition of two giant Buddha figures by the
Taleban in Afghanistan. Azerbaijan has hit back by accusing Armenia
of scaremongering, and of destroying Azerbaijani monuments on its
own territory.

Now an IWPR contributor has become the first journalist to visit
the site of the cemetery on Azerbaijan's border with Iran - and has
confirmed that the graveyard has completely vanished.

The European Parliament, UNESCO and Britain's House of Lords have
all taken an interest in the fate of the Jugha cemetery. A European
Parliament delegation is currently visiting the South Caucasus. But
so far none has been allowed to visit the site itself.

If international observers can confirm that the cemetery has been
razed, it is sure to spark a new high-voltage row between the two
countries, which have engaged in a bitter war of allegation and
counter-allegation since fighting ended in the Nagorny Karabkah
conflict in 1994.

The IWPR contributor was accompanied by two Azerbaijani security
service officers and was restricted in his movements. He was unable to
go right down to the River Araxes, the site of the former cemetery,
as it lies in a protected border zone. However, he was able to see
clearly that there was no cemetery there, merely bare ground.

Nor was there, as some Armenians have claimed, a military training

He did manage to see a 20th century cemetery with Armenian tombstones
that lay untouched in a nearby village.

This is one of the most inaccessible parts of Europe, located in the
Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhichevan, which is surrounded by Armenia and
Iran and - because of the unresolved Armenian-Azerbaijani dispute -
is only accessible from the rest of Azerbaijan by air.

Old Julfa, or Jugha as it is known by the Armenians, sits on the
northern bank of the River Araxes which divides Nakhichevan from Iran.

According to Armenian and other historians, Julfa was a flourishing
Armenian town in the Middle Ages. But in 1604, Shah Abbas of Persia
forcibly resettled the inhabitants to Isfahan, where to this day
there is still an Armenian quarter known as New Julfa.

The ruined town and its cemetery remained, and were visited by a
number of travellers over the years. British Orientalist Sir William
Ouseley arrived in July 1812 and found "a city now in perfect decay",
and the remains of what had been one of the most famous stone bridges
in the world.

He wrote, "I examined the principal remains of Julfa, where 45
Armenian families, apparently of the lowest class, constituted the
entire population.

"But of its former inhabitants, the multiplicity was sufficiently
evinced by the ample and crowded cemetery, situated on a bank
sloping towards the river, and covered with numerous rows of upright
tombstones, which when viewed at a little distance, resembled a
concourse of people or rather regiments of troops drawn up in close

Historian Argam Aivazian, the principal expert on the Armenian
monuments of Nakhichevan, said that Jugha was a unique monument of
medieval art and the largest Armenian cemetery in existence. There
were unique tombstones shaped like rams, a church and the remains
of a massive stone bridge. Nowhere else in the world, he said, was
there such a big concentration of thousands of khachkars in one place.

Aivazian last visited the site in 1987, when it was still mostly
intact, despite its poor upkeep during the Soviet period.

Artist Lusik Aguletsi, a Nakhichevan-born Armenian, also last visited
the cemetery in 1987, although she was under escort.

"There is nothing like it in Armenia," she said. "It was a thrilling
sight. Two hills completely covered in khachkars. We weren't allowed
to draw or photograph them."

Armenian experts now accuse Azerbaijan of a deliberate act of cultural

"The destruction of the khachkars of Old Jugha means the destruction
of an entire phenomenon in the history of humanity, because they are
not only proof of the culture of the people who created them, they
are also symbols that tell us about a particular cultural epoch,"
said Hranush Kharatian, head of the Armenian government's department
for national and religious minorities.

"On the entire territory of Nakhichevan there existed 27,000
monasteries, churches, khachkars, tombstones and other Armenian
monuments," said Aivazian. "Today they have all been destroyed."

Although the historical provenance of the cemetery is disputed
in Azerbaijan, its cultural importance is confirmed by the 1986
Azerbaijani book "The Architecture of Ancient and Early Medieval
Azerbaijan" by Davud Akhundov, which contains several photographs of
the cross-stones of Jugha.

In Akhundov's book, the stones are said to be of Caucasian Albanian
origin, in line with the official theory taught in Azerbaijan that
the Christian monuments there are the work not of Armenians, but of
the Albanians. The Caucasian Albanians - a people unconnected with
Albania - lived in the south-eastern Caucasus but their culture began
to die out in the Middle Ages.

Nowadays, there is a village of some 500 inhabitants known as Gulistan
near where the cemetery used to lie. The climate is harsh and dry
and the houses are mostly built of wattle and daub and stones from
the river.

The local inhabitants are tight-lipped, denying there was ever an
Armenian cemetery here

"In some parts of Julfa there are historic Christian cemeteries,
but they are monuments of Caucasian Albania and have nothing to do
with Armenians," said political scientist Zaur Ibragimli, who lives
in Julfa.

He added that there is a large Armenian cemetery and church, still
preserved, near the village of Salkhangaya.

Husein Shukuraliev, editor of the Julfa local newspaper Voice of
Araxes said the destruction of the cemetery began as early as 1828,
when Azerbaijan became part of the Russian empire. Thousands of
tombstones were then destroyed at the turn of the 20th century when
a railway was constructed, he said.

Safar Ashurov, a scholar with Azerbaijan's Institute of Archaeology
and Ethnography disputed that the cemetery was Armenian, calling the
ram shapes an "element of exclusively Turkish Muslim grave art".

However, two other witnesses told IWPR that there has been more recent
destruction of the cemetery - though it may have started much further
back than Armenians allege.

A man named Intigam who works repairing tin cans in Baku said he was
posted in Julfa with the Soviet army in 1988-89. At the end of 1989,
the radical Azerbaijani nationalist politician Nemat Panahov dismantled
the border-posts on Nakhichevan's border with Iran.

Intigam said that part of the Julfa cemetery was destroyed at that

Panakhov himself declined to comment when contacted by IWPR, saying,
"Journalists always deceive me, and I don't want anything more to do
with them."

A second witness, who asked for his name not to be given, said that
there were khachkar stones on the site up until 2002, but they were
then removed on the orders of the Nakhichevan military command.

An Armenian architect, Arpiar Petrossian, told IWPR he visited the
Iranian side of the border in 1998 with a friend in order to look
at the monuments on that side. They also viewed the remains of the
bridge. Looking across the river into Azerbaijan, he said, they
noticed a flat-bed train apparently removing the cross-stones from
the cemetery.

Armenian deputy culture minister Gagik Gyurdjian said his government
raised the alarm in 1998.

"Then we got the entire international community up in arms and stopped
the destruction," he told IWPR. "But in 2003 the destruction started
again. Many khachkars were buried under the earth, and the rest were
destroyed and thrown into the Araxes."

In the last few months, the propaganda war over Jugha has reached
a new intensity - just as the latest round of Karabakh peace talks
between presidents Ilham Aliev and Robert Kocharian, held in February,
ran into trouble.

Azerbaijani president Aliev angrily denied Armenian allegations
about the Jugha cemetery last week, saying the claims were "a lie
and a provocation".

International institutions are now demanding to be allowed to visit
the site of the cemetery. The European Parliament passed a resolution
in February condemning the destruction of the cemetery.

However, Azerbaijan said it would only accept a European parliamentary
delegation if it visited Armenian-controlled territory as well. Around
one seventh of what is internationally recognised as Azerbaijani
territory has been under Armenian control since the end of the
Karabakh conflict.

"We think that if a comprehensive approach is taken to the problems
that have been raised, it will be possible to study Christian monuments
on the territory of Azerbaijan, including in the Nakhichevan Autonomous
Republic," said Azerbaijani foreign ministry spokesman Tahir Tagizade.

The Azerbaijani foreign ministry says old Muslim monuments have
disappeared from Armenia. In a statement, it said that at least
1,587 mosques and 23 madrassas had been destroyed in what was once
the Muslim-governed Yerevan Khanate - now part of Armenia. In the
Zangezur and Echmiadzin areas alone, more than 830 mosques have been
demolished, it said, adding that more than 500 Muslim cemeteries
have been destroyed within the territory of Armenia. The statement
did not specify when this destruction occurred.

Avetik Ishkhanian, president of Armenia's Helsinki Committee, blames
the international community for not reacting sooner to the razing
of Jugha, contrasting the response with the outcry that followed the
Taleban's demolition of the Buddhas of Bamian in 2001.

"Why has there not been the same reaction in this case?" asked
Ishkhanian. "At that time, world public attention was directed against
the Taleban regime, and this act of barbarism was used as a propaganda
weapon to launch military action against them."

Reporting by Idrak Abbasov in Nakhichevan; Shahin Rzayev and Jasur
Mamedov in Baku; and Seda Muradian, Narine Avetian and Karine
Ter-Sahakian in Yerevan.

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 PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 7:58 am    Post subject: GRAVES OF JEWS AND ARMENIANS DESTROYED IN AZERBAIJAN Reply with quote Back to top


29.05.2006 15:00

Graves of Jews and Armenians are being destroyed in Azerbaijan. The
article titled "The country of barbarians" printed in "Real Azerbaijan"
newspaper notes that the editorial office received a letter from
Sumgait residents, who report about the destruction of Armenian and
Jewish tombs.

The author of the article informs that the same happens also in
Baku. Ac cording to the author, "it is an intentional and cynical
persecution." "First, the barbarism at the cemetery is a serious blow
to our reputation," the author notes.
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 PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The Independent

Azerbaijan 'flattened' sacred Armenian site

By Stephen Castle in Brussels

Published: 30 May 2006

Fears that Azerbaijan has systematically destroyed hundreds of
500-year-old Christian artefacts have exploded into a diplomatic row,
after Euro MPs were barred from inspecting an ancient Armenian burial site.

The predominantly Muslim country's government has been accused of
"flagrant vandalism" similar to the Taliban's demolition of the Bamiyan
Buddhas in Afghanistan.

The claims centre on the fate of rare "khachkars", stone crosses carved
with intricate floral designs, at the burial ground of Djulfa in the
Nakhichevan region of Azerbaijan, an enclave separated from the rest of
the country by Armenia.

The works - some of the most important examples of Armenian heritage -
are said to have been smashed with sledgehammers last December as the
site was concreted over.

The Azerbaijan government, which denies the claims, is now at the centre
of a row with MEPs, some of whom it accused of a "biased and hysterical
approach". Its ambassador to the EU also says the European Parliament
has ignored damage to Muslim sites in Armenia. Azerbaijan has refused to
allow a delegation of Euro MPs permission to visit the 1,500-year-old
Djulfa cemetery during their trip to the region last month.

Most of original 10,000 khachkars, most of which date from the 15th and
16th century, were destroyed by the early 20th century, leaving probably
fewer than 3,000 by the late 1970s.

According to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos),
the Azerbaijan government removed 800 khachkars in 1998. Though the
destruction was halted following protests from Unesco, it resumed four
years later. By January 2003 "the 1,500-year-old cemetery had completely
been flattened," Icomos says.

Witnesses, quoted in the Armenian press, say the final round of
vandalism was unleashed in December last year by Azerbaijani soldiers
wielding sledgehammers.

The president of Icomos, Michael Petzet, said: "Now that all traces of
this highly important historic site seem to have been extinguished all
we can do is mourn the loss and protest against this totally senseless

Some MEPs believe that, boosted by its oil revenues, Azerbaijan is
adopting an increasingly assertive stance in the region. Charles
Tannock, Conservative foreign affairs spokesman in the European
parliament, argued: "This is very similar to the Buddha statues
destroyed by the Taliban. They have concreted the area over and turned
it into a military camp. If they have nothing to hide then we should be
allowed to inspect the terrain."

When MEPs passed a critical resolution in February, Azerbaijan's Foreign
Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov, made a formal protest. Then, when the
parliament's delegation for relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan and
Georgia, asked to combine a mission to Armenia with a visit to the
Djulfa archaeological site, their request was refused.

The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly hopes to visit the site
and its secretary general has offered to set up an expert group to
examine cultural sites in Azerbaijan and Armenia. MEPs insist that the
authorities in Azerbaijan should open their doors if they have nothing
to hide.

Hannes Swoboda, an Austrian socialist MEP and member of the committee
barred from examining the site, said he hopes a visit can be arranged in
the autumn. He added: "If they do not allow us to go, we have a clear
hint that something bad has happened. If something is hidden we want to
ask why. It can only be because some of the allegations are true."

And he warned: "One of the major elements of any country that wants to
come close to Europe is that the cultural heritage of neighbours is
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 PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:25 am    Post subject: L’UNESCO envoie une mission au Nakhitchevan Reply with quote Back to top

11 juillet 2007 | Radio publique d’Arménie & armenews | Stéphane

L’UNESCO envoie une mission pour étudier l’état de monuments arméniens au Nakhitchevan

La République d’Arménie a été informée qu’une mission de l’UNESCO doit se rendre au Nakhitchevan pour évaluer l’état des monuments culturels arméniens au Vieux-Djugha.

L’attaché de presse du ministère des affaires étrangères a indiqué à Armenpress que ce n’est un secret pour personne, que des monuments arméniens en Azerbaïdjan, et particulièrement au Nakhitchevan, ont été systématiquement démolis. La question a été à plusieurs reprises soulevée à l’UNESCO, à l’ONU et dans les structures européennes.

Des lettres ont été envoyées au secrétaire-général de l’UNESCO en 1998, 2002 et 2005, exposant la situation et l’invitant à prendre des mesures pour arrêter le génocide culturel contre les monuments arméniens du Nakhitchevan.

Selon Vladimir Karapetian, les nombreuses démarches afin d’attirer l’attention de la communauté internationale sur la destruction volontaire des khachkars arméniens du Nakhitchevan en 2006, à aidé à briser le mur du silence. « L’Arménie apprécie grandement la visite de la mission de l’UNESCO pour évaluer l’état de monuments », a ajouté Vladimir Karapetian.

Il convient de noter que lorsque l’Arménie avait proposé d’envoyer une mission au Vieux-Djugha, l’Azerbaïdjan avait exigé que la mission devait également étudier l’état de monuments dans le Haut-Karabakh.

Selon Vladimir Karapetian, le ministre des affaires étrangères VartaN Oskanian a mentionné dans sa lettre à l’UNESCO que pour sa part l’Arménie est prête à préparer la visite d’une mission exploratoire au Haut-Karabakh au cas où les autorités arméniennes et Karabakhies sont d’accord.

La mission de l’UNESCO sera dirigée par la parlementaire britannique Edward O’Hara. La date exacte de la visite n’est pas encore arrêtée.

Traduction d’un article de la Radio publique d’Arménie
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