Azərbaycan Respublikası	Müəllif Hüquqları Agentliyi

Armenian provocation on ‘Lavash’ in UNESCO prevented – Ministry


Name of the file was changed after Azerbaijan’s objection
Azerbaijani side protested against Armenia’s nomination ‘Lavash, the preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia’ on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in the 9th session of UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism told that the name of the file was changed in accordance with the requirements of the UNESCO Convention.

“The Armenian provocation was prevented as a result of Azerbaijan’s objection and activities carried out in this regard. Thus, the name of the file was changed in accordance with the requirements of the UNESCO Convention revealing that lavash doesn’t belong to the Armenian nation, it only exists in Armenia too. According to the outcomes of the discussions held in the Committee, this attempt of Armenia is unacceptable and preparation of any food in Armenia doesn’t mean that it belongs to the Armenian nation,” the ministry said.

The ministry said the Committee members highlighted the spirit of the Convention and condemned Armenia’s claim that lavash is an exclusive Armenian bread. They also stressed the importance of developing the legal procedures in order to avoid such situations: “During all meetings with committee members and others, the Azerbaijani delegation criticized Armenia`s using purposes and principles of the UNESCO as a tool for its aggressive policy and noted that such approaches would seriously damage the reputation of the organization. The Committee’s accepting lavash as a bread existing in Armenia instead of belonging to the Armenian nation reconfirmed that Azerbaijanis lived in the territory of Armenia and Armenians learned these traditions from them.”

The ministry also added that the Committee held a joint meeting of representatives of the regional countries on Azerbaijan’s initiative, and it was decided “lavash” to be submitted to UNESCO as a legacy of the regional countries’ cuisines in the next year.
Chairman of Copyright Agency Kamran Imanov told APA that the Development Concept “Azerbaijan-2020: outlook for the future” also reflects the requirement to prevent misappropriation and unfounded claims.
“The concept provides centralized digitization, protection and preservation of intellectual property. This list also includes the traditional Azerbaijani cuisine. The word “lavash” is derived from “ash”, which is of Turkish origin. It is a noun form of the verb “ashmag” which means “to cook”. Today Azerbaijani people mean cooking while saying “gazan ashmag, gazan asmag”. Many words have been derived from the word “ash”. For example, gashig (spoon), lavash, khashil (thick flour cereals), etc. These are food-related words. Armenians misappropriate lavash, claiming that it means “good food” adding “lav” to the root-word “ash” of Turkish origin. This is not logical. On the other hand, lavash is baked in “tendir” (oven made of clay in a hole in the earth). Armenians misappropriates both “tendir” and “lavash”. These words are of Turkish origin and the evidences for the richness of Turkish cuisine.

Kamran Imanov added that “lavash” is not related to the tradition of Armenian cuisine. “This is only misappropriation of our cuisine and use of procedures for baking lavash in the territory of present Armenia”.

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