On 27 September 2020, Azerbaijan went to war with Armenia on a scale not seen since the ceasefire of 1994. The conflict ended in another cease- fire on 10 November 2020, however, in addition to the theatre of war, the conflict has been prosecuted and continues to be fought post-ceasefire, through claims to cultural heritage which are employed in international organisations to substantiate the legitimacy of territorial claims. In this paper, we specifically focus on carpets and their display in museums to unpack the relationship between carpet as an instance of instrumenta- lised cultural heritage and the two countries’ territorial conflict and claims. Focusing on two major carpet museums in Armenian-occupied Nagorno- Karabakh (Shusha) and Azerbaijan (Baku), respectively, we will explain how ostensibly innocuous claims of cultural ownership and authenticity underline territorial claims with violent outcomes.
Authors and Publishers
Ali Mozaffari and James Barry
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