On 16 December, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Dzheppar informed that Russian occupation authorities in Crimea were conducting “restoration” works at the Khan’s Palace aimed at destroying the unique complex.
The Palace in Bakhchysarai, the only example of Crimean Tatar palace architecture which consists of 17 buildings and 9 inner closed courtyards was the cultural center of the Crimean Tatar people in the times of the Crimean Khanate, UNESCO described.
Emine Dzheppar wrote on Twitter, “Russian occupiers continue to destroy the unique cultural pearl of my people-the Khan’s Palace. We have information about the destruction of the amazing Golden Cabinet of Kirim Gerai Khan, where the occupiers dismantled the roof and ensemble of colored stained glass windows.”
#russian occupiers continue to destroy unique cultural pearl of my people-the Khan's Palace in Bakhchisarai. We have information about destruction of amazing Golden Cabinet of Kirim Gerai Khan,in which the occupiers dismantled the roof&ensemble of colored stained glass windows1/2 pic.twitter.com/GaXevJLik0
— Emine Dzheppar (@EmineDzheppar) December 16, 2022
She called on UNESCO to respond appropriately to the Russian crimes against cultural heritage in occupied Crimea. “Russian terrorists know nothing else but to kill, destroy everything beautiful, and erase my people’s national memory and identity.”
Russian construction works in the Khan’s Palace in Bakhchysarai which destroy the historical monument, began in autumn 2017.
In February 2018, the former head of the Bakhchysarai Historical and Cultural Reserve Elmira Ablyalimova filed a lawsuit with a court in occuppied Crimea, demanding to stop the “barbaric reconstruction” of the Khan’s Palace. However, the Russian occupation court refused her, motivating its decision by the fact that the actions of the construction company “Kiramet” in no way affect her rights, freedoms and interests.
In March, UNESCO stated that the occupation authorities of Crimea commit gross violations in the field of protection of the cultural heritage of the peninsula, in particular by carrying out “restoration work” on the territory of the Khan’s Palace in Bakhchisarai.