Երեքշաբթի, 21. 05. 2024

spot_img

Ten Years Without Julfa: The Pain and Pride of Armenian Cultural Heritage

Armenian culture is a source of pride as well as a source of pain. Time and human intervention have been cruel to some of the greatest monuments of Armenian heritage.

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the total obliteration of one of the Armenian nation’s most revered historic and spiritual monuments – the cemetery of Julfa, reports Civilnet.

In December 2005, video evidence emerged of Azerbaijani troops wiping out what remained of the historic Armenian cemetery of Julfa.

Julfa was one of the oldest Christian cemeteries in the world; home to more than 10,000 ornately carved ancient tombstones and khachkars or stone-crosses dating back to the fifteenth century.

Though historically Armenian, Julfa is now located in the exclave of Nakhichevan (Azerbaijan); it also borders Turkey and Iran.

French traveler Alexandre de Rhodes reported that the cemetery had 10,000 well-preserved khachkars in 1648. Only 5,000 were counted in 1903–1904 and despite the ravages of time, the cemetery was still standing in the late 1990s until Azerbaijan began its systematic destruction. By 2005, they had successfully destroyed the ancient cemetery.

11

After studying and comparing satellite photos of Julfa, the American Association for the Advancement of Science came to the conclusion that the cemetery was demolished and “leveled by earth-moving equipment.” Today it is reportedly a shooting range for Azerbaijani troops.

In an interview with ArmInfo, Armenian Minister of Culture Hasmik Poghosyan points out that the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage can come to a deadlock in some cases. Especially when the preservation of the cultural heritage site in question would require the collaboration of countries with no diplomatic relations like Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Armenian complaints to international organizations back in 2005 yielded no results but shortly after the total destruction of the Julfa cemetery, UNESCO included Armenian khachkars on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Armenian bread Lavash, national epic Sasuntsi David and duduk music are now also included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

In 2016, Armenia will submit an application to have “Kochari: The traditional group dance” on the list. The Armenian Ministry of Culture is also preparing to submit an application to include the Yerevan Blue Mosque in UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

So far, the cathedral and churches of Echmiadzin and the archaeological site of Zvartnots, the monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin, monastery of Geghard and the upper Azat Valley are the only UNESCO Heritage Sites in Armenia.

The archaeological site of the city of Dvin, the basilica and archaeological site of Yererouk, the monasteries of Tatev and Tatevi Anapat and the Noravank monastery are on UNESCO’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.

12

13

14

spot_img

ՆՄԱՆ ՆԻՒԹԵՐ

spot_img
spot_img

ՎԵՐՋԻՆ ՅԱՒԵԼՈՒՄՆԵՐ

spot_img

Զօրակցիր Զարթօնք Օրաթերթին