Activist holds slogan 'Salaam Save'. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot

09 May 2019, 08:23

Activists demand to stop building demolition in Baku (+video)

Starting May 6, local residents organized a round-the-clock watch at a building in central Baku after the owner's attempt to evict the non-commercial movie theatre "Salaam Cinema". The authorities have promised to assess the historical value of the building, built as a Molokan prayer house, and to revise plans for demolition thereof.

The prayer house was built in 1913 by a Molokan entrepreneur Skobelev. After the collapse of the USSR, the building was privatized. In February 2019, the above non-commercial cinema housed in it on a leasehold basis, Ilkin Guseinov, a member of the "Salaam Cinema" informal association, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

According to Mr Guseinov, the contract of the "Salaam Cinema" was concluded with the realtor, who had explained that the owner of the building was absent in the country. "We were already told then that the building would be demolished in September of this year. But we agreed anyway, because we needed a place for screening films. After moving in, we understood the historical value of this building; then we decided that it should not be demolished in any case," Mr Guseinov has explained.

He is confident that the building has historical significance for Azerbaijan.

According to Ilkin Guseinov, the activists concerned about the attempt to capture the building have organized a round-the-clock watch in it.

According to an official from the State Service for the Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, the above building is not on the list of historical monuments. "However, the issue is taken under control. If the building is recognized as a historical monument, in no case it will be demolished, and no damage will be inflicted to its historical appearance," the official has explained to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 8, 2019 at 07:18 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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