Standing Firm In Kashatagh: Tufenkian Foundation Preserves Region’s


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July 21, 2009

NEW YORK–The Tufenkian Foundation this week announced a new
initiative on behalf of Kashatagh (formerly Lachin), the province of
Nagorno-Karabagh that provides vital links to Armenia. The initiative
will focus on restoring and protecting Kashatagh’s historic monuments
and cultural artifacts, which attest to the region’s Armenian character
and background. The initiative comes only days after an OSCE summit
called for Karabagh’s withdrawal from so-called "occupied territories,"
and is designed as a direct response to this affront to Karabagh’s
sovereignty and self-determination.

"Many people know Kashatagh to be the vital, strategic link between
Karabagh and Armenia," noted Foundation director Antranig Kasbarian.

"Less known is that the region has Armenian roots historically–roots
that were torn out via massacre and deportation in 1918-20. Now that
the region has been liberated, we believe we must emphasize that
Azerbaijan’s claims to it are artificial, and cannot enjoy support
from the international community."

To kick off this effort, the Foundation has begun renovating the
historic St. Minas Church, built in the 16th century and found in
the village20of Hak–which traces its Armenian ancestry to the 11th
century. After its Armenian population was wiped out in a massacre by
Azeri forces in October 1918, Hak was reclaimed by Armenian forces in
1992 and is now subject to an active resettlement policy by Karabagh
authorities. Alongside the church renovations, the Foundation will
also renovate nearby Armenian cemeteries and will build a new water
supply for the village, which currently houses 50 inhabitants.

This effort has been made possible by a generous grant from Virginia
Davies of New York City. Other supporters have also come forward with
offers of assistance, which will be publicized in coming weeks.

For more information on the Tufenkian Foundation, visit
For more on the Kashatagh Initiative,
email Rick Barry at [email protected]

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