Azerbaijan comments on Armenia's refusal to accept help in restoring Erivan Fortress
The Yerevan authorities’ rejection of Azerbaijan's assistance in the restoration of the historic center of the Armenian capital is quite natural, since the true purpose of the project of restoring old Yerevan is to hide the truth about the destruction of the Erivan Fortress, the Chief of the Department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan Fuad Akhundov says, according to "Interfax".
"The whole program of the restoration of the historic center of Yerevan was taken in response to accusations from the Azerbaijani side related to the destruction of the Erivan fortress. The main argument was the official claim of Baku that “ancient" Yerevan does not have an historic center. Very soon, a few weeks after these allegations, Armenia adopted a program of restoring old Yerevan. Actually, for the purpose of distracting attention, different dates for the project’s preparation are being given: the years 1970, 1983 and 2005. But for some reason the program was made public a few weeks after the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Erivan fortress, which took place in Baku. Thus, the Armenian authorities are trying to convince the public that for decades the project has been kept under the strictest secrecy, as if it were a program for developing atomic weapons," Akhundov states.
"First there was the Erivan fortress of the XVI century, then Erivan, and then Yerevan appeared. This scheme is a natural development of thousands of fortress cities in the world. The fortress was the ancestor of the modern Armenian capital. Similarly, Moscow developed around the Kremlin, and Baku - around the "Inner city" (The Old Town)," Akhundov says.
"At the same time, thousands of ancient cities cherish their fortresses like the apple of one’s eye, and these fortresses today attract thousands of tourists. A fortress is the heart of any ancient city, but Yerevan does not have this heart, because it has been destroyed," Akhundov comments. "The Yerevan authorities say they will restore previously "dismantled" buildings, though it is clear to everybody that they were broken, that is, destroyed. Evidently, the Armenian side is trying to misguide the world community with regards to the true history of Yerevan and the destruction of the Erivan fortress. We hope that the Armenian authorities will take out of their pockets the stamped stones and bricks of the dismantled fortress and assemble it again," Akhundov says.