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November 24, 2020

NetworkICOMOS, ICA, IFLA & ICOM – Statement on Nagorno Karabakh

ICOMOS, ICA, IFLA and ICOM call upon all parties involved in implementing the complete ceasefire agreement that came into force on 10 November in Nagorno-Karabakh to proactively ensure full respect and protection of all the cultural heritage in the concerned areas, in particular those where control is passing from one party to another (Agdam district, Kelbajar district and Lachin region). This respect and protection must extend to the conservation, interpretation and presentation of all such cultural heritage.

With reference to the earlier statement issued by the Blue Shield, of which all four organisations are Founding members, on 7 October 2020, the parties involved are again reminded of their obligations under international law provisions protecting cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict, in particular the 1954 Hague Convention and its two protocols. ICOMOS, ICA, IFLA and ICOM again express their concern at reports of damage to cultural property that has occurred during the conflict. They will continue to closely follow the situation of the cultural and religious heritage during the implementation of the ceasefire and peacekeeping operations.

Without mutual respect and acknowledgement of all the layers that make up the rich cultural heritage of the Nagorno-Karabakh region there can be no hope for any form of lasting peace.