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The removal of Armenian cultural monuments from Berdzor, Aghavno, and Sus settlements, which will be handed over to Azerbaijan's control on August 25, will be completed in the next week. Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Lernik Hovhannisyan informed Armenian News-NEWS.am about this.

"According to the civil defense plan, when the decision was made that the population [in the aforesaid settlements] should be evacuated, naturally the monuments as well the book fund—the libraries, the museum exhibits—[also] had to be removed," Hovhannisyan said, in particular.

According to the deputy minister, the Armenian monuments and cross-stones in the aforementioned communities have been moved to the Artsakh capital Stepanakert, there is already an agreement with the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church that some of them will be placed in the park being built near the St. Hovhannes (John) Church in Stepanakert, and the others—in the area adjacent to the St. Hakob (Jacob) Church.

"There is a proposal to place them in the park of the newly constructed building of the Artsakh State University. There are other proposals that we will consider after moving them all," Hovhannisyan added.

Reflecting on the fact that Azerbaijan has already announced the plan of turning the Holy Ascension Church in Berdzor town into a mosque, Lernik Hovhannisyan noted that they have repeatedly appealed in this regard to international organizations, but the latter’s respective responses are only statements.

"We don't see concrete practical steps—except for words. And as for the Holy Ascension Church in Berdzor and the Church of the Holy Martyrs in Aghavno [village], materials about their future fate are already circulating in the Azerbaijani media. And specifically, the project of turning the Holy Ascension Church of Berdzor into a mosque was chosen by a non-governmental organization, which I do not rule out will become the official policy of Azerbaijan," said Hovhannisyan.

Artsakh Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Hayk Khanumyan had informed the Armenian residents of Aghavno and Berdzor that they had to leave their homes by August 25.

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