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Indications of embezzlement in the restoration of historical monuments, according to deputy

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Published: 5 May 2022 16:50

Chairman of the Culture Committee, deputy Ganira Pashayeva, expressed dissatisfaction with the work of the State Service for Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage during the discussion of the annual report of the Chamber of Accounts in the Azerbaijani parliament yesterday.

She reveled that during the evaluation of the results of the “State Program for the Restoration, Protection, Improvement and Development of Historical and Cultural Reserves for 2014-2020”, embezzlement cases were found.

According to her, between the years of 2014 and 2020, restoration or conservation work worth about 90 million AZR was planned to be carried out at 134 monuments. However, over 75% of the allocated funds covered only one monument – the renovation of the Gileyli mosque in Sheki.

The deputy also noted that although 600,000 AZR were allocated for the restoration of 13 monuments between the same period, only the minaret in Sheki was restored. The work on the cataloging of monuments in Azerbaijan, as well as the establishment of protection zones is also incomplete, according to Pashayeva.

“In 2021, 8% of 4,528 monuments have been certified. Only 3% of the 140 monuments have been designated as protection zones”, she calculates.

In response, the State Service claimed that the number 134 in the report prepared by the Chamber of Accounts was misunderstood. The figure should only represent the number of monuments included in the investment list, even though no money was allocated from the budget in previous years for their restoration.

“It is planned to restore and conserve 134 monuments a year, to allocate 40 million AZR for this work in the 2020-2021 period, and 77% of this amount to only one monument (Gileyli Mosque). The information about the expenditures does not reflect the truth”, says the State Service.

According to the public agency, the funds required for the restoration of monuments vary depending on their size, architectural features, technical condition and location.

On average, the restoration and conservation of approximately five monuments requires more than 600,000 AZR. The Gileyli Mosque’s renovation was around five times higher.

“24 saat”

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