Saturday, October 14, 2023

Armenia and Azerbaijan Trade Charges of Destruction of Cultural Monuments in Karabakh

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 10 – Given the immense human losses that have occurred over the last 30 years in the Armenian-Azerbaijani dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, it may seem inappropriate to devote much attention to the destruction of cultural institutions belonging to each of these peoples by representatives of the other.

            But it is one of the characteristics of modern societies that they are often more agitated by the destruction of such monuments than they are of the destruction of human life: One thinks of the international outcry about the Taliban’s desecration of Buddhist monuments in Afghanistan at a time when far fewer people seemed outraged by the deaths that movement had produced.

            Now, something similar is happening in the case of the Karabakh dispute, with each side trading charges that the other has done more damage. In fact, both have engaged in such destruction, and the international community has complained about both and demanded that they stop.

            For those interested in this unfortunate byproduct of the war, the Meduza news agency has provided a careful review of the charges and counter-charges and international commentary (, one that compels the conclusion that both sides are at fault rather than either being the innocent.


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