Cellist Plays to Mourn Cathedral Shelled in Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict
A historic cathedral has been shelled amid the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh, or Artsakh, region, where hundreds have been killed and tens of thousands displaced after two weeks of new fighting.
On the evening of Thursday 8 October, the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral’s dome was struck by a shell, which also severely damaged the building’s interior.
Also known as the Holy Saviour Cathedral, the historic music hall was being used to shelter women and children. Media reports say some children were inside at the time, with none wounded but many now suffering stress from the attack.
Hours later the cathedral, in the city of Shushi, was shelled once more, injuring two Russian journalists. One was hospitalised and is undergoing surgery.
American pianist and composer Daniel Decker, sharing shots of the ruined building on Facebook, wrote: “Shushi’s newly built culture and youth center before and after an Azerbaijani rocket attack. I gave a concert in this hall in Shushi, Artsakh in 2017. This breaks my heart!”
In the aftermath of the explosion, Armenian-born cellist Sevak Avanesyan sat amid the rubble and played music to mourn the devastated building.
A poignant video of Avanesyan playing ‘Krunk’ by Armenian composing giant, Komitas, has been shared by more than 5,000 people on the platform.