Construction in Shushi has damaged the archaeological remains of the 1838 Meghretsots Holy Mother of God church, the Caucasus Heritage Watch (CHW) alerts.
A November 3 satellite image shows that demolition debris was recently dumped on the foundations of the old church, likely using heavy machinery.
CHW first noted damage to the northern wall in April 2021. Subsequent satellite images indicate no change to the area apart from vegetation growth. Now, the demolition of nearby buildings has turned this cultural site into a dumping ground.
According to an inscription, the church was founded in 1838. Damaged in the Soviet era (only the tabernacle and sacristies remained), in the 1960s it became a movie theater. Excavations in 2017 exposed the original foundations beneath asphalt.
“CHW makes its findings public not to further polarize Armenians and Azerbaijanis but to provide verifiable information that all parties can use to demand accountability for heritage abuses and to support future efforts toward truth and reconciliation, however distant,” the Caucasus Heritage Watch says.