Karabakh made a unique contribution to the world by presenting it with rare pearls of culture. Karabakh is also the cradle of Azerbaijani music, poetry and other national-cultural values.
On the occupied Azerbaijani lands, Armenian military forces have ruined, destroyed and looted 547 historic monuments, out of which 5 are of world, 393 of country and 149 of local importance. Additionally, 205 archeological monuments, 927 libraries, 808 clubs, 85 music schools, 12 monumental statues, 22 museums, 4 art galleries, 10 cultural and leisure parks, 4 state theatres, 2 concert halls have been desecrated. Armenian barbarians destroyed and ruined the globally popular Kelbajar Historic-Ethnoqraphic museum, and Shusha city, which was an open-air museum and cradle of mugham art/ Nowadays, you will not find the world renowned history museum of Karabakh, the bread museum in Aghdam, or the stone sculptures museum in Zengilan.
Territory of the region: 29,0 sq.km
Population: 26.700 people (01.01.2006)
Prior to the occupation the Shusha region had 248 historic and cultural monuments, 5 museums, an art gallery, and 32 libraries. The first reading hall in Shusha was opened with the initiative of the prominent poet of his days, Mir Mohsoon Navvab. He became the initiator of the opening of the first reading hall-library in Shusha. Namely, 200 years ago, Mir Mohsoon Navvab brought many newspapers and magazines, published in different countries, to Shusha and made them available for public use. The Centralized Library System (CLS) of the Shusha region was established in 1977 as the result of the merging of all 32 libraries operating in the region. Per 1991 data, CLS had 103 employees, and the total quantity of the library collection was 200,000 copies; there were 10,000 total readers. The Shusha region CLS actively participated in the promotion of reading, introduced world and national literature achievements to the city residents, organized meetings with writers and poets, and held “Open Doors Days” and book festivals, etc. Many tourists, who came for recreation to this city, visited the Shusha library. Shusha was developing and transforming into a poly-cultural center. Armenian military forces occupied Shusha on May 8, 1992, and then the entire region was subjected to the ethnic cleansing operation. As a result of the occupation, 32 district libraries, rare and unique books, rare editions, manuscripts, photographs of the Karabakh khans, and correspondence with the Russian emperors were destroyed. All of that is lost forever. The ruining of the libraries damaged state property in the amount of 1 min 106 thousand Azerbaijani Manats. Only 3 libraries are currently operating.
Territory of the region: 1835 sq.km
Population: 68.900 people (01.01.2006)
Armenian military forces occupied the region on May 18, 1992. 119 libraries, the Historic-Ethnographic museum, 85 clubs, and 5 music schools were ruined and looted in Lachin as a result of the occupation. Prior to the occupation, this region had a cave-temple (V century), tombs (XIV, XIX centuries), a fort (XVII century), a mosque (dated 1718), a palace (dated 1716), a bridge (XVIII century) and other monuments. The Regional Centralized Library System was established in the Lachin region in 1976, comprising 119 libraries. By 1991, the Lachin region CLS book fund had 843,000 copies of various publications, 20,000 readers and 119 employees. 115 branches of regional libraries in the villages used to have modern buildings. Visitors of the Lachin regional Centralized Library System could benefit from collections of antique, unique and rare books. The library itself had 14 rooms and 2 reading halls for the use of the visitors. The Regional CLS was a key participant of region-wide and countrywide events. As Armenian military forces occupied Lachin on May 18, 1992, all of libraries were ruined, and their collections were looted. The damage to the Republic of Azerbaijan equals 2,85 min Azerbaijani mantas. Currently, the Lachin region Centralized Library System temporarily operates in the area named Takhtakorpu of Agjabedi region. Even though the Lachin region is not a geographical part of Naqorno Karabakh, the Republic of Armenia continues its aggression by keeping this region under occupation and violates all relevant international conventions. Librarians of this occupied region created a web site that has interesting data for the readers.
Territory of the region: 3054 sq.km
Population: 73.600 people (01.01.2006)
Armenian military forces occupied the Kelbajar region on April 2, 1993. As a result of the occupation, 119 libraries, 17 clubs, an art school, and a regional historic-ethnographic museum were ruined and looted. Prior to the occupation, Kelbajar had restored and preserved Alban of the XIII-XVIII centuries that were witnesses to our history. The Kelbajar region Centralized Library System (CLS) was established in 1976, based on 119 libraries serving the visitors. According to information from 1192, the Kelbajar region CLS had a book fund of 600 thousand copies, 35 thousand readers and 175 employees. The Kelbajar region Central Library had been located at the special library type two-story building in the “New City” settlement of the city since 1992. At the same time, the branches of the central library had also been located in the new facilities and equipped with modern inventory and equipment. On April 2, 1993, as a result of the occupation by Armenian military forces, 119 library buildings, along with their book collections, magazines and audio materials funds, were destroyed and looted. Currently the Kelbajar region Central Library and its branches are temporarily operating in the Gulustan settlement of Gandja city, where most of the IDPs from Kelbajar have temporarily settled. As a result of the occupation, the whole infrastructure of the region and its cultural monuments, including library buildings, have been fully destroyed, and the state budget has faced damages of 2 min 470 thousand Azerbaijan mantas. On April 6, 1993, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution condemning the occupation of the Kelbajar region and other regions of Azerbaijan around Naqorno Karabakh by the Armenian military units. Still, Armenian military forces have been occupying these territories for the last 20 years.
Territory: of the region 1150 sq.km
Population: 167.300 people (01.01.2006)
Armenian military forces occupied the Aghdam region on July 23, 1993. As a result of the occupation, 107 libraries; a historical-ethnographic museum; the Bread Museum; the home-museum of the prominent singer; Qourban Pirimov; 24 clubs; the Dramatic Theatre and the Picture Gallery of the Aghdam region were ruined and destroyed. The Cutlu Musa oglu tomb (1314), the Kengerli village tomb (XIV century), and 2 tombs at the Papravand village (XVIII century) were registered in the Aghdam region prior to the occupation. The Aghdam region had many cultural sites. The Aghdam region Centralized Library System (CLS) was established in 1979 based on 107 libraries in the region. According to the data of 1992, the Aghdam region CLS book fund had 970,996 books, 72,130 readers and 170 employees. Prior to the occupation, the region had 106 village libraries with 676000 books, magazines and newspapers. The Aghdam region Central Library was moved to a newly constructed building in 1992 and provided with new library inventory and equipment. The occupation of Aghdam region on July 23, 1993 by Armenian military forces resulted in the full destruction of 107 libraries. Damage to the budget by the occupation roughly equals 2 min 850 thousand Azerbaijani mantas. Currently, the Aghdam region Central Library is temporarily operating in the Gouzanly settlement of Aghdam region, where internally displaced people of Aghdam are settled. 10 villages of Aghdam region (20 % of the region) that are not under the Armenian occupation are home to 60,000 people.
Territory: of the region 1049.8 sq.km
Population: 66,400 thousand people (01.01.2006)
The Armenian military forces occupied the Jabrayil region on August 23, 1993. As a result of the occupation, 31 libraries, 3 musical schools, and 19 clubs were ruined and looted. Prior to the occupation, the region had many historical-archeological and architectural monuments, sites of antique population, kurgans, a mosque, a bath, tombs and the historical Khudafarin bridge. The Centralized Library System (CLS) was established in the Jabrayil region in 1983 on the basis of 78 public libraries. According to the information of 1992, the CLS had 105 employees. The book fund of the Jabrayil regional CLS was 552,400 thousand copies, and the readers numbered 27,800 thousand people. The Jabrayil region CLS actively participated in “Qurbani saz bayramı” and the traditional spring festival, “Novruz holidays”, was organized in the region. After the occupation of the region on August 23, 1993 by the Armenian military forces, 78 library buildings were ruined, and unique books and rare ethnoqraphic publications were destroyed. As a result of the occupation, financial damage to regional libraries, adjusted to today´s prices, equals 1 mln 700 thousand manats. Currently, the Jabrayil region Central Library is temporarily operating at the camp built in Bilasuvar region, where many internally displaced people of Jabrayil have settled.
Territory: of the region 1390 sq.km
Population: 147.100 people (01.01.2006)
The Armenian military forces occupied Fuzuli region on August 23, 1993. As a result of the occupation, 15 historic monuments, 90 libraries, 20 cultural houses, 45 clubs, a state dramatic theatre, 2 museums and other buildings were ruined and looted. Prior to the occupation, sites of early population, mounds, tombs (XIII-XVIII centuries), mosques (XVII-XIX centuries), and a Karavansara (1684) were registered in the region. The Fuzuli region Centralized Library System (CLS) was established in 1978 on the basis of the Central Library and 89 village libraries. According to 1992 information, the regional CLS had 171 employees. The book fund of the Fuzuli region CLS had over 900 thousand copies, and the number of readers was 45,620 people. As a result of the occupation by the Armenian military forces on August 23, 1993, all of the libraries in this region were ruined and looted. The total amount of damage from the occupation to the libraries of this region tentatively equals 1 mln 889 thousand Azerbaijani mantas. Currently, the Fuzuli region Centralized Library System operates in the village of Zobucug 1, which is under the control of Azerbaijani military forces. The Fuzuli region CLS launched and presented its website to the readers in 2009. Automated Library Information System IRBIS-64 was installed in the Central library of the Fuzuli region in 2012. The system enables the establishment of an e-catalogue for the library.
Territory: of the region 800 sq.km
Population: 35,700 people (01.01.2006)
Armenian military forces occupied the Gubadli region on August 31, 1993. As a result of the occupation, 85 libraries, 10 cultural houses, 28 clubs, 6 auto-clubs, and 23 units of cinema equipment in Gubadli were ruined and looted. Prior to the occupation, the region had a number of architectural monuments such as a cave-temple (IV century), forts (V century), tombs (XIV-XVI centuries), a mosque (XIX century), a bridge (1867) and other historic sites. The Gubadli region Centralized Library System (CLS) was established in 1977. The Gubadli region Centralized Library System was created by uniting 1 regional central library and 84 branches. According to 1992 data, the regional CLS had 132 employees. The library fund had 600 thousand copies and 21 thousand readers. The Gubadli region CLS annually participated in “Mahsul bayram” festivals of regional and countrywide importance. The Gubadli regional library was located in a specially desighed building. As a result of the occupation by Armenian military forces on August 31, 1993, 85 libraries and its branches were ruined and looted. The occupation resilted in financial damage to the regional libraries in the amount of 1 mln 880 thousand Azerbaijani manats. Currently, the Gubadl; region Centralized Library System operates in the city of Sumgayit, neighborhood 41, in the cultural house named after 28th of May. The Gubadli region CLS launched a new library website in 2009. Currently, they are creating an e-catalogue. Only 1 library in the Gubadl; region.
Territory: of the region 707 sq.km
Population: 40.500 people (01.01.2006)
Armenian aggressors occupied the Zengilan region on October 29, 1993. Prior to the occupation, Zengilan region had a number of historic monuments, tombs (1304-1305), vaults (XII-XIV centuries), and a circular tower (XIV century). As a result of the occupation, the regional Historical-Ethnographic Museum, the Museum of People´s Friendship, 3 music schools, and 70 libraries were ruined and looted. The Zengilan region Centralized Library System (CLS) was established in 1976. The Zengilan region Centralized Library System was established by uniting the central library, 3 city libraries and 65 village libraries. By the year 1991, the regional CLS had 158 employees. Library funds in total comprised 490 thousand copies and 20 thousand readers. The Zengilan region CLS annually organized the “Mahsul bayram” (Harvest festival) and, “Novruz bayram” (Spring new year) festivals of regional and countrywide importance. Occupation of the Zengilan region by Armenian aggressors October 29, 1993 resulted in the full destriction and looting of 1 central, 1 children´s, 1 youth, 1 city, and 1 district library as well as 70 other libraries operating in the villages. All of the unique and valuable books were destroyed. The financial damage of the occupation equals 1 mln 660 thousand Azerbaijan manats at today´s prices. Currently, the Zengilan region Central Library operates in Baku city, Narimanov region, at 11 H.Mammadov Street. There are only 2 libraries operating currently in the region.
Territory: of the region 1705 sq.km
Population: 44.400 people (01.01.2006)
The Agdere region was established in 1930 and has 1 city-scale district and 57 villages. Note: As the Naqorno Karabakh Autonomous Republic was abolished in 1991, the Agdere region was split between three neighboring regions: Kelbajar, Terter and Agdam. The Agdere region Centralized Library System (CLS) was established 1978 on the basis of 61 village and 4 regional public libraries and had 400 thousand copies in the book fund. As a result of the occupation of Agdere on July 7, 1993 by the Armenian separatists, 65 library buildings were ruined and looted. Financial damage to Agdere regional libraries equals 1mln 300 thousand Azerbaijani manats, adjusted to today´s prices.
Territory: of the region 936 sq.km
Population: 25.000 people (01.01.2006)
The Khojaly region´s territory was occupied by the Armenian military forces in the years 1991-1992. The region had 1 city, 2 districts, and 46 villages. The center was Khojaly city. Prior to the occupation, the Khojaly region had the Asgeran fort from the 17th century, ancient architectural monuments, an eight-pointed dome from the 13-14th centuries, a complex of tombs and Khojaly monuments at 5 historic sites, and 11 major land burial mounds dated from the late Bronze and early Iron Age (between XIV-XIII and VII-VI centuries b.c.). The region also had stone mounds, soil and stone mounds, Cyclopes buildings (Galachalar), a necropolis, menhirs (huge sharp stones of 5-10 tons), stone graves, stone inscriptions, stone boxes and Albanian churches. Prior to the occupation, 69 libraries, 8 cultural houses, 60 clubs, 3 musical schools and a historic-ethnographic museum were functioning in the region. The Centralized Library System of region, with an over 400 thousand book fund, was established in 70 years of the last century, with the purpose of managing country libraries from the single center. Prior to the occupation, Khojaly city had 9 public libraries. As a result of the occupation, the region faced ethnic cleansing, and Azerbaijani material-cultural monuments, including library funds, were destroyed. The ruining of 69 library and the destruction of unique publications resulted in financial damage to the Azerbaijan Republic in the amount of 1 mln 500 thousand Azerbaijani manats.
Territory: of the region 1458 sq.km
Population: 40.800 people (01.01.2006)
The Khojavend region was established after the Naqorno Karabakh Autonomous Republic was abolished in 1991, on the basis of Martuni (currently Khojavend) and Hadrut regions. Armenian military forces occupied Khojavend region on October 2, 1992. Prior to the occupation, the region had 72 cultural monuments, towers (I-VII centuries), an Albanian temple (X century) and other historic sites. 1 Central Library and 81 library branches were operating in the Khojavend region. According to 1992 date, the regional CLS had 181 employees. The total volume of library funds was 463 thousand copies, and the library had 17 thousand readers. The Khojavend region central library and library branches were located in specially designed buildings. The financial damage to the libraries from the occupation of Khojavend region by the Armenian military forces was around 1 mln 700 thousand Azerbaijani mantas at today´s prices. Currently, Khojavend region Central Library operates in Beylagan region.
7 vilages of the Gazakh region occupied
by Armenian military forces
7 villages of the Gazakh region (Baghanis Ayrim, Yuxari Eskipara, Ashaghi Eskipara, Barxudarli, Gizilhajili, Kheyrimli, Sofulu) are also under Armenian occupation. Baghanis Ayrim village was occupied by Armenians on March 23, 1990. During the occupation, Armenians launched unseen atrocities against unarmed and innocent people of the village. Several families were murdered and burned with extreme brutality. This date left a bloody path in Azerbaijan´s history, known as the tragedy of Baghanis Ayrim.Other villages of the Gazakh region: Yuxari Eskipara, Ashaghi Eskipara, Barxudarli, Gizilhajili, Kheyrimli, and Sofulu, were occupied by Armenian aggressors in April of 1992. As a result of the occupation, 8 library branches and 178.285 books belonging to them were burned and destroyed. Financial damage to the Gazakh region library-information network is estimated at around 180 thousand Azerbaijani manats.
INFORMATION ON THE MATERIAL AND MORAL DAMACE MADE TO
AZERBAIJAN LIBRARIES AS A RESULT OF THE ARMENIAN-AZERBAIJAN,
In the early 90s of the last century, Armenian military forces pushed ungrounded claims against the Republic of Azerbaijan. Flagrantly violating the norms of international law, they committed armed aggression against Azerbaijan and occupied 20% of our territory, officially accepted by all of the member-states of the United Nations. Armenian aggressors brutally destroyed historic and cultural monuments of our nation, including libraries operating on the occupied lands. The Armenian aggressors´ self-ruling, barbarous ruining and deterioration of historic and cultural monuments on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan committed vandalism against our lands. These acts are totally against the Hague Convention on “Protection of cultural wealth during military conflicts” of 1954, the European Convention “On Protection of the Archeological Heritage” of 1992, and the UNESCO Convention “On protection of world cultural and natural heritage” of 1972. As a result of the military aggression, the libraries on the occupied lands of Shusha, Lachin, Kelbajar, Gubadli, Khojaly, Aghdam, Agdere, Fuzuli and Jabrayil as well as unique and rare book collections were looted and burned. Armenian vandals destroyed the historic library of Panah khan the personal library of the prominent scientist and artist, Mir Movsoon Navvab; the Upper and Lower Govharaga mosque; the Kocharli and Friday mosques; the home museum of the great composer, Uzeyir Hadjibeyov, and valuable books kept in the house of the founder of Azerbaijani professional vocal art, Bulbul. Most of them were taken to Armenia. The ruining of material culture items is still going on in the occupied lands. On the occupied territories of Naqorno Karabakh and 9 surrounding regions, Armenian terrorists ruined and looted 9 Centralized Library Systems, 927 libraries and over 4,6 million books, newspapers, magazines and information resources. Moreover, 13 sites of global importance (6 architectural and 7 archeological), 292 sites of country importance (119 architectural and 173 archeological), 330 sites of local importance (270 architectural and 22 archeological), 23 monumental and commemorative statues, and 15 pieces of decorative applied art remain under occupation. Along with the aforementioned, 22 museums with over 40 thousand showpieces, 808 clubs, 4 theatres, 2 concert halls, 8 cultural and leisure parks, 4 art galleries, and 85 musical schools were left on the occupied territories. Tentative calculations say the damage to the library-information sector of Azerbaijan equals 20 million 815 thousand US dollars. The only bread factory in the former USSR in the city of Aghdam was fully destroyed by bombing. Up to 13 thousand precious and unique items from the world-known Kelbajar historic-ethnographic museum and 5 thousand items Lachin ethnographic museum were taken to Armenia. The Occupation of Shusha made a huge damage to our moral. Just in the city of Shusha , 32 libraries, 5 museums, 17 clubs and 8 cultural houses were ruined and looted. As a result of the Armenian aggression, the historic memories of the people, including books, were barbarously destroyed. The cultural heritage of the people of Azerbaijan is an indivisible part of the global culture. So, the protection and restoration of our historic and cultural monuments, located on the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, is an internationally important problem.
Source: "Looted Cultural Heritage and Destroyed Libraries: Victims of Armenian Aggression". Booklet. (Compiled by: Latifa Mammadov, Samir Abbasov)