Armenian vandalism in Shusha

House-Museum of Uzeyir Hajibeyov

The House-Museum of Uzeyir Hajibeyov, an outstanding Azerbaijani composer, was founded in 1959 in Shusha, the cultural capital of Azerbaijan. The House-Museum continued its activity until the occupation of Shusha by the Armenian invaders in 1992. Along with household items of Hajibeyov’s family, the personal belongings, photographs, books of Uzeyir bey, as well as the books dedicated to him and presented to the museum were on exhibition.

Anniversaries and jubilees of Uzeyir Hajibeyov had been constantly commemorated in the museum at national level. In 1985, UNESCO solemnly marked the 100th anniversary of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s birth. The guests invited from different countries of the world visited House-Museum of Uzeyir Hajibeyov in Shusha, where jubilee was celebrated. 

During the First Karabakh War of 1991-1994, the strategically located Shusha became one of the main targets of the Armenian nationalists and armed forces. They occupied the city on May 8, 1992, looted museums, which contained thousands of exhibits, destroyed hundreds of historical and cultural monuments, desecrated sanctuaries and mosques, destroyed many rare samples of manuscripts, and turned educational and health institutions into ruins.

After the occupation of Shusha the House-Museum of Uzeyir Hajibeyov discontinued its function. However, due to the great efforts of museum’s leadership, namely Nasiba Ali gizi, the director of the House-Museum of Uzeyir Hajibeyov in Shusha, and Zahid Abbasov, the Head of Cultural department in Shusha, the museum pieces were kept safely and brought to Baku. At present they are kept in the House-Museum of Uzeyir Hajibeyov in Baku. 

The exhibits brought from Shusha are composed of: Uzeyir Bey’s personal belongings, childhood hat, costume, sunglasses, coat, his violin played at the Gori Seminary, writing accessories, ink-pot, pencil, personal album, photos, her mother Shirinbayim khanim’s bride dressing, books dedicated to Hajibeyov’s life and creativity. One of the most valuable exhibits brought to Baku is the handful of Shusha land of a pear tree, Uzeyir bey’s favourite in the yard of the museum.

  1. “Shusha Region”, Armenian Vandalism: Azerbaijani Monuments in Captivity.
  2. “Uzeyir Hajibeyov: the phenomenon of the composer”, Vestnik Kavkaza, 25 November 2020.