Reportedly, a group of cultural figures from the Russian Federation have appealed to UNESCO to help protect the Christian heritage in Karabakh and inscribe this heritage in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Referring only to the Christian monuments, this letter disregards the fact that numerous Islamic cultural heritage sites have been destroyed during the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and its neighbouring areas by Armenia, as well as the fact that the Azerbaijani Government protects all historical, cultural and religious heritage sites located in its territory without any discrimination, and takes this issue very seriously. This letter is addressed directly to UNESCO, which proves that it is biased and was deliberately prepared as part of a smear campaign against our country.
The First Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Acting Minister Anar Karimov, sent a letter to the cultural figures who signed the afore-mentioned appeal.
The letter first informs them about the destruction of our cultural heritage sites (in most cases, both Muslim and Christian heritage sites) located in the territories of Azerbaijan, which were previously occupied by Armenia for many years. The letter further refers to the facts proving that our state protects both religious (Muslim, Christian, Jewish) and cultural heritage sites located in the various cities of Azerbaijan.
In addition, the letter reproaches the Russian cultural figures for addressing their concerns directly to UNESCO, not the Azerbaijani Government, and advises them not to fall victim to Armenian propaganda.
At the end of his letter, Acting Minister Anar Karimov invited the cultural figures who signed the afore-mentioned appeal to visit the heritage sites in the liberated lands of Azerbaijan, which have been destroyed and looted for nearly 30 years, and to see how our country takes care of the cultural heritage.
It is noteworthy that the letter to UNESCO was not welcomed unequivocally by a number of renowned people and cultural figures who widely criticised it.