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Banants was an Armenian settlement in the historical region of Gardmanq. This story tells about the barbaric elimination of the eagle-monument which was constructed in the memory of 600 perished Banants –inhabitants during the Great patriotic war. It happened during the Soviet period, on the order of Baku and with the tacit support of the Kremlin.

In 1941-1945 1200 young men from Banants went to war, and 600 from them perished. Banants people decided to perpetuate their memory, and in 1966 invited eminent architect Rafael Israelyan.

Eagle-memorial’s design was approved by the Artists’ Union of Armenia and Architects’ Union of Armenia. The author of the memorial was Honored Artist of the Republic, State Prize winner Rafael Israelyan, sculptor – honored sculptor Ara Haroutyounyan.

The opening ceremony of the monument was scheduled after two days. Guests were invited from Yerevan, Baku, Moscow, other parts of the Soviet Union. However the morning of July 27, 1969 was not good. From the memorial only pillar was left, there was no eagle, and at the podium lay broken fragments of sculpture.

It turned out that on the order of the Communist Party 1st Secretary of Azerbaijan Dashkesan district Suleymanov at 2 am they cut down the light in the whole district. And a group of scum secretly entered Banants and took the stone eagle.

On the efforts of Azerbaijani authorities various gossips were spread about the “reasons” of the monument’s abolition: eagle was the symbol of Dashnak government, there was an armory under the memorial, from the eagle’s eyes Army Commander Andranik was looking. Interethnic atmosphere was tensed. Banants demanded to return their eagle. Head of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev had to receive their delegation. And this cunning fox said: “If we restore the monument in its previous form, I am confident that there will be found an Azerbaijani who secretly would blow the memorial. This would undermine the national policy of the Soviet Union, and Moscow will not forgive us”.

It became clear that the monument was destroyed on the orders of Baku. Instead of the eagle flags were put on a pedestal, and in the middle of the column – soldier’s helmet. The opening ceremony of the monument was shown on the Central TV. There were many guests but majority of Banants people didn’t participate in the function. Proud Banants was deeply insulted.

After that the process of displacement of Armenians from their historical lands started, which ended in the summer of 1989 with forced deportation.

Armenians and Azerbaijanis are doomed to be neighbors …


Category: #26 (1044) 10.07.2014 – 16.07.2014, Spiritual-Cultural, News, Spotlight