Armenian Artists Refuse to Participate in Eurovision in Baku
Armenia shouldn’t participate in the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Baku this year, say a group of Armenian artists in a statement issued Thursday.
The reason cited by the group is the recent death of Armenian soldier Albert Adibekyan, who was reportedly killed by an Azerbaijani sniper yesterday.
“We refuse to perform in a country that is known for massacres and killings of Armenians; a country where hatred towards Armenians has reached the level of state policy; a country which prohibits the entry of anyone of Armenian descent, even if he is a citizen of a country other than Armenia, which we witness nearly every month.
“We call on Armenia’s Public Television to refuse to send a contestant to that country and at the same we state that we are prepared to participate in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest if the European Broadcasting Union decides to move the contest to any other country where there will be the atmosphere of solidarity and equal competition that was present at last year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Armenia, in which, by the way, Azerbaijan didn’t participate. We also state that we’re prepared to participate in all future Eurovision song contests,” reads the statement by the unidentified group of artists.
Reporter Nver Mnatsakanyan in an Armenian Public TV news broadcast aired Thursday evening addressed this decision with Artistic Director of the State Song Theatre of Armenia Artur Grigoryan, who said that with this decision, Armenia and the Armenian culture don’t actually lose anything, and there’s no need to take Eurovision so seriously.
“We have more serious issues than participating in Eurovision in Baku. If a soldier is killed today, we have prisoners [of war] in that country, how can we go and sing songs on that land?” he said.
Grigoryan also weighed in on the oft-heard view that an artist from Armenia performing in Baku is a question of the country’s honor.
“Our tricolor [flag] waves in Stepanakert, in Kalbajar. Azerbaijan is not that country where we have to wave our flag. We have won,” he said, adding that many other countries also have reservations about participating in the international song contest in Azerbaijan, due to the political situation in Armenia’s neighboring country.
Photo: Armenian Pulse
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