AUA Launches Artsakh Heritage Project to Safeguard Armenian Cultural Treasures2 min read
YEREVAN, Armenia — In line with AUA’s commitment to preserve Armenian cultural heritage, the Turpanjian Center for Policy Analysis (TCPA), in partnership with the Armenian General Benevolent Union and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, has launched a project titled “The Armenian Cultural Heritage of Artsakh: Inventorying for Safeguarding.” The initiative aims to enhance the protection of endangered Armenian treasures in Artsakh by compiling a preliminary inventory of those national treasures. A brand new website depicting the outcome of this year-long effort will target the international academic community, practitioners, and public at large as its primary audience.
The project was instituted against the backdrop of the systematic destruction of Armenian cultural heritage in Artsakh by Azerbaijan and the recent European Parliament Resolution (2022/2582 (RSP)) on the manifestations of intolerance towards the Armenian identity as a distinct violation of international law. The website will embrace approximately 5,000 monuments in Artsakh (with their respective photos and short descriptions), interlinked with a special map plugin; over 50 scholarly articles and reflections in international media outlets on the issue of Armenian cultural heritage during and following the 2020 Artsakh War; and about 25 relevant binding treaties, statutes, covenants, and other legal documents related to the protection of cultural heritage.
The team is led by AUA Political Science and International Relations Associate Professor Dr. Asbed Kotchikian, who is also the director of the TCPA, and comprises multidisciplinary scholars and associates: Nazenie Garibian, Ruzan Pluzyan, Bella Hakobjanyan, Nare Sukiasyan, Gagik Sargsyan, Nare Krmoyan, and Ripsime Jangiryan.
“As an indispensable part of a people’s identity, cultural heritage is endowed with universal value that transcends national boundaries and, thus, imposes an obligation on the international community to protect and preserve it for the generations to come,” says Dr. Kotchikian. “By providing ensured access to the comprehensive database of monuments along with other critical pieces of relevant information, we hope to equip international stakeholders with the necessary knowledge and tools to support their endeavors in protecting the Armenian cultural heritage of Artsakh.”
Following the launch of the website, information on most of the monuments located in the regions of Askeran, Hadrut, and Martuni will be uploaded over the course of the year, with the trajectory of completing the inventory of remaining cultural treasures throughout the succeeding four years.
For more on the project, please visit https://artsakh-heritage.aua.am/.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.