Azerbaijan’s Policy of Forced Cultural Appropriation after the Second Artsakh War: The Case of Dadivank Monastery
Keywords:Artsakh, Dadivank, cultural heritage, Albanisation, Azerbaijan
The article presents the methods of the continuing forced appropriation of Armenian cultural monuments in Artsakh by the Republic of Azerbaijan’s functionaries after the Second Artsakh War.1 The “Albanisation” of Armenian cultural monuments in Mountainous Karabagh in the scientific field began in the 1950s, when it was imperative to reinforce the Azerbaijani people’s cultural identity, based on the foundations laid between 1920 and 1930 and to try to make all the peoples living in the Southern Caucasus equally indigenous to the region. One of the “victims” of the “Albanisation” of the cultural heritage of the Armenians of Mountainous Karabagh is the monastic complex of Dadivank, located in the Karvachar area of the Shahumyan region. Passing under Azerbaijani jurisdiction in November 2020, it was presented to the international community as part of the historic-cultural heritage of the descendants of the Caucasian Albanians, which should be under the jurisdiction of Udis and Azerbaijanis. With this aim in view, the Azerbaijani leadership instituted the policy of forced appropriation and alienation of Armenian heritage from the Armenian culture through various means, which will be shown in detail below.
This article will also demonstrate how the theory of “Albanisation” began and developed in Azerbaijani SSR historiography and what “scientific bases” were – and are – being brought forward during the Soviet and post-Soviet eras by historians to present Dadivank as Albanian. It will also reveal the directions Azerbaijan is following for the appropriation of Armenian cultural legacy, rebranding it as Albanian, and foisting this theory on the international public.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Hayastan A. Martirosyan
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State Committee of Science
Grant numbers 22YR-6A033