Heritage in Nagorno Karabakh

The European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) draws the attention of the international community and its organisations to the precarious situation for important Armenian monuments in the territories in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, now being handed over from Armenian control to Azerbaijan.

It is of the greatest importance to secure the continued preservation of these monuments, which constitute a unique contribution to the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the Southern Caucasus.

The EAA is aware of the conflicting views regarding the destruction of heritage assets, and the denial of the historical presence of different groups within these territories, views that have helped fuel the circle of violence.

  • We urge our heritage colleagues on both sides to engage in dialogue about how best to protect the rich and diverse heritage in the lands they inhabit.
  • We urge the relevant State Parties to recognize and respect each other’s identities and heritage as a necessary precondition for breaking the cycle of violence and destruction. 
  • We appeal to Azerbaijan to demonstrate commitment to international heritage conventions, and to protect all cultural heritage in the territories for which they are now assuming responsibility.
  • We appeal to Russia as peace-broker and guarantor to give all its support to prevent further loss of cultural heritage in the disputed areas.
  • We appeal to UNESCO, to the Council of Europe, and to other international organisations to work with the relevant national authorities to encourage them to make their best efforts to protect heritage at risk.