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03/03/2021 Nagorno-Karabakh (International Christian Concern) –  Many cultural collections located in Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh) are now under Azerbaijani control. Geological, cultural, and historical items that were moved into bomb shelters in Shushi are now claimed by Azerbaijan. Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh representatives appealed via Russian peacekeepers for their return, although there has not been any success so far.

Several have been critical that the precious items were even allowed to remain in Shushi. During the war, Shushi was considered invincible and many believed it would not fall to Azerbaijan. As such, some museums only transferred items into bomb shelters instead of shipping them out of the region.

The claiming  of Nagorno-Karabakh’s historical items is part of the attempts of Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, to rewrite the narrative and discredit the regions Armenian Christian history. The acquisition and reconstitution of these artifacts and religious sites are being utilized to negate and/or rewrite Christian history in Nagorno-Karabakh. This sends a message that Armenian Christians are no longer welcome in the present moment.

Throughout the 44-day war, Azerbaijan and Turkey both failed to respect human rights. To learn more about Turkey’s role, read ICC’s joint report here.

For interviews, please contact Alison Garcia: [email protected]