In the area surrounding formerly – named “Soviet Street”, 21 more historical buildings and 2 cultural monuments have been scheduled for demolition. Formerly, they were included in the list of historical objects protected for their cultural significance.
This will be done in accordance with changes to a decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan on August 2nd, 2001, “On the approval of the designation of immovable monuments of history and culture, protected by the State on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, according to their importance.”
Based on a decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers on May 18th, 2016, the buildings will be removed from “The list of historical immovable objects of local importance and cultural monuments.”
This, in effect, means that these buildings are no longer to be perceived as historical objects of cultural significance by the law of Azerbaijan; thus, they will not be protected by the state.
And yet, the majority of these houses were built in between 1885 – 1916.
The exclusion of these buildings from the list of protected heritage is a criminal manipulation of the law, and is a clearly a mischievous tactic meant to demolish entire city blocks to make way for new constructions that will be profitable for the already very wealthy.
To be fair, this has been happening for a while now:
Earlier, on May 15th, the house of famous Azerbaijani actor and director Abbas Mirza Sharifzade, which was built in 1910, was demolished. Abbas Mirza lived there together with his spouse Marziya Davudova up until his arrest in 1937.
Not on the list of historical monuments does not mean not historical
If these buildings are crossed out from the list of historical buildings and monuments of architecture, it does not mean that they have lost their historical importance. The history and culture of Baku, our city, lives in these buildings. The history of our country.
But to the authorities of the Azerbaijan of today, the culture and history of the country simply does not matter. They are rewriting history in their own image — this trend, I think it fair to say, began with Heydar Aliyev.
Culture for them is only what is pleasing to them, and what suits their business interests. That is why they are ruthlessly destroying buildings that define the face of Old Baku.
Criminal is the law according to which they will tear down these houses. Criminal are the people that adopt such laws and decisions. And to us, to the ones that still care about the history of Baku, the only thing left for us to do is hope that they will have to pay for it…
The article reflects the point of view of the author and as such may not coincide with that of Meydan TV.