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D i s c l a i m e r
Destroyed khachkars in Azerbaijan
For decades, the government of Azerbaijan has pursued a policy of eradication and misappropriation toward khachkars. Beginning in the 1980s, some Azerbaijani researchers made the khachkars which were located in historically Armenian lands and which had been misappropriated to Soviet Azerbaijan and surrounding regions the subject of their "research". Following the unfortunate theory of Buniatov, the excurses of Azeris had only one goal: to proclaim the entire heritage of khachkars as Albanian/Azerbaijani. At the same time, the Azerbaijani government undertook a wide program of eradication of khachkars. Some details of this horrible program implemented during Soviet years became obvious only after the liberation of Armenian territories. The khachkars were broken into pieces or were transformed to stones for construction and were used in the construction of individual houses and public buildings, particularly in the walls of public schools.
Today, the government of independent Azerbaijan has enlarged this policy and has made this politics of Soviet years more impudent. This time, the victim of barbarism became the biggest known khachkar field, known as Jugha, which is under Azeri subordination. At the end of 2002, as a result of the barbarism organized by the Azerbaijani government, the last 3000 khachkars were eradicated in Jugha. In December 2005, Azerbaijani military formations broke into pieces with heavy hammers the remaining fragments of khachkars in the Jugha cemetery, moved them, and dumped the fragments into the Araks River. This crime was videotaped from the Iranian border and has been spread all over the world.

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Endangered khachkars in Turkey
A number of khachkars, which were created in historic Armenia and surrounding regions, in modern times have become the possession of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and partly Georgia and Iran. As a result of systematic eradication of khachkars in Turkey today only a few examples survive. Unfortunately these single examples are not cataloged and properly photographed. Thus, it is difficult to follow up with the current situation.
Endangered Khachkars in Armenia and Artsakh
It is particularly tragic that khachkars are also endangered in Armenia and Artsakh. They are disappearing, being damaged or moved.
Most endangered are the old khachkar fields located near today's graveyards, where khachkars are being eradicated for the creation of new burial space. The 'crown of thorns' belongs to the khachkar field in Arinch near Yerevan. The situation is threatening in Noratus as well, where new burials are encroaching upon the khachkar field from at least three sides. The old graveyard of Areni is in almost the same situation.
The movement of khachkars voluntarily by different individuals is a widespread practice. In some cases this is done to allegedly create a new holy place, for example, the case of Karmir Dalakner of Gegharquniq region where the khachkar was brought from Karvachar. Another case of moved khachkars is due to the decoration of new offices and especially entertainment establishments, as for example in the Vank village in Karabakh. The third and the most condemning practice is when khachkars are merely disappearing to decorate individual yards and houses.
Khachkars are being damaged also by believers, worshipers and casual visitors, who light candles on them or write their names on them or engage in rituals that are damaging the carvings.

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Endangered Khachkars

Canadian Scholars Signed Petition on Issue of Destruction of Armenian Monuments in Nakhichevan
British House of Lords to Present Its Stand on Destruction of Armenian Khachkars
Azerbaijani Soldiers Destroy Armenian Khachkars in Nakhichevan
Watch video (13MB WMV file, in Armenian)
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