STATEMENT by The Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan

As reported earlier, on October 4, by the order of the military-political leadership of Armenia, the Armenian armed forces fired from heavy artillery at Ganja, the second largest city in Azerbaijan, the center of ancient history and culture. As a result, 1 civilian was killed, 32 people were injured, civilian objects, residential buildings, various structures of the city, including a state-protected historical monument (inv. 3838) were severely damaged.


There are 195 state-registered immovable monuments of history and culture in Ganja. Of these monuments, 1 is an archaeological monument of world importance, 15 - architecture of national importance, 3 - garden-park, monumental and memorial monuments of national importance, 169 - of the architecture of local significance, 6 - garden-park, monumental and memorial monuments of local importance, 1 is an example of decorative-applied art. "Old Ganja" (Middle Ages), taken under state protection as an archaeological monument of world importance, located on the territory of the Ganja State Historical and Cultural Reserve, architectural monuments of national importance, such as the Imamzadeh complex (XVII-XIX centuries), Ugurlu khan and Shah Abbas caravanserais (XVII-XVIII centuries), Ganja fortress and fortress walls (XV-XVI centuries) located on the banks of the Ganja river testify to the rich cultural heritage of the city.


Known for centuries as a cultural center on the Great Silk Road, Ganja has contributed to the world's cultural heritage with the great poet and thinker Nizami Ganjavi, the prominent poet Makhsati Ganjavi, whose 900th anniversary was celebrated at the UNESCO level in 2013, and many other famous artists, composers and architects.


Despite numerous warnings issued by Azerbaijan through relevant international organizations, Armenia's continued targeting of civilians, civilian objects and historical monuments is a violation of international humanitarian law, including the 1954 UNESCO Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, 1972 UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 1992 European Convention for the Protection of Archaeological Heritage and gross violations of other norms of international law are an indication of the country's continuing aggressive policy.


By firing rockets at the ancient city of Ganja, the center of Azerbaijan's historical and cultural heritage, Armenia is targeting not only Azerbaijan, but also the world's cultural heritage and universal values, once again demonstrating its long-standing policy of vandalism. The fact that the head of the so-called regime in Nagorno-Karabakh demonstratively took responsibility for the shelling of Ganja is yet another confirmation of the hypocritical policy of the Armenian side.