November 28, 2023 - 13:21 AMT
CHW: Azerbaijan damages one more cemetery in Nagorno-karabakh

Between October 5 and November 3, another Armenian cemetery in the Nagorno-Karabakh town of Shushi was damaged, the Caucasus Heritage Watch reports.

It appears that bulldozers dumped heaps of debris atop the old Ghazanchetsots cemetery (southeast of the cathedral of the same name), endangering the already fragmented tombstones.

The location of the cemetery is confirmed by maps, publications, and recent photographs (supporting materials in CHW’s forthcoming Monitoring Report #6). The 18-19th c. cemetery had been severely damaged during the Soviet era.

By the 1990s, 45 tombstones remained. One marks the passing of Stepan, a blacksmith from Ghazanchi village in Nakhichevan, who died in 1758. He was one of many Armenian migrants from that village whose name was given to the city’s well-known cathedral.

Stepan’s tombstone recalls the destruction of the Armenian cemetery in his native village, the Old Cemetery of Ghazanchi/Shahkert. CHW documented its erasure in an investigation into the recent destruction of Armenian cultural heritage in Nakhichevan.

In that investigation, “Silent Erasure”, the organization also documented the destruction of the medieval Armenian monastery in the blacksmith’s native Ghazanchi.

This is the sixth Armenian cemetery impacted since November 2020, after the destruction of Mets Tagher and Sghnakh, damage to the cemetery near Vazgenashen/Hajisamly, and damage to Shushi’s Northern and Yerevan Gates cemeteries.