A group of renowned cultural figures from France (directors, writers, performers, musicians, journalists, singers) have signed an appeal supporting Armenian separatism in Karabakh, based on lies and slander; this was reported in the French newspaper Le Figaro.

The appeal demonstrates solidarity with the Armenians, a concern for their fate in Karabakh, the reoccurrence of the so-called “1915 genocide”, support for Armenian separatism, and, in general, Azerbaijan’s mythical “insidious plans”.

The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan states that for about thirty years Armenia had illegally occupied internationally recognized territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts, refusing to implement UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884.

During the many years of occupation, as a result of the aggressive policy of Armenia, immovable historical and cultural monuments in these areas that belong to the Azerbaijani people have been destroyed, misappropriated and vandalized by not being used in accordance with their historical and cultural purposes. Along with houses, educational and industrial facilities in the occupied territories, hundreds of cultural institutions, including 927 libraries with a stock of 4.6 million books, 808 palaces of culture, clubs and cultural centres, 85 music and art schools, 22 museums and museum branches with more than 100,000 exhibits, 4 art galleries, 4 theatres, 2 concert halls, 8 culture and recreation parks, and more than 2,000 historical and cultural monuments have been victims of this vandalism. Such barbaric treatment of cultural heritage, including unique monuments of special importance, should be seen as a threat to world heritage.

It is unfortunate that the participation of influential cultural figures in this appeal, which was presented to the world community without relying on relevant evidence and facts, including any scientific research, has become a tool of Armenian propaganda; this unprofessional approach casts a shadow over the image and impartiality of these individuals.

Despite being a member state of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and the 1970 Paris Convention on the Prohibition and Prevention of the Illicit Import, Export and Illegal Transfer of Cultural Property (UNESCO), there are indisputable facts and evidences about how Armenia has destroyed, falsified and looted Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage in the Azerbaijani territories that were once under occupation.

The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan invites renowned cultural and scientific figures from France to the liberated territories to witness the cultural genocide against Azerbaijan and to see in real life the current state of Azerbaijan’s destroyed and vandalized heritage.