A well-known historian, author of books about the Crimean Khanate Gulnara Abdulaeva wrote on her Facebook page that since the occupation of the peninsula in the XVIII century Russia had been encroaching on the national heritage of the Crimean Tatars - the Khan Palace in Bakhchysarai.

According to her, the numerous reconstructions of the palace, which took place after the Russian annexation of the Crimea in 1783, caused irreparable damage to the Palace. Inept architects unrecognizably distorted the buildings, layout and interior of the monument of history and culture of universal significance.

The historian notes that the grim page of the reconstructions of the Palace was opened by Russian Count Grigory Potemkin, the main organizer of the journey of Catherine II to the Crimea.

“No sooner had the last Crimean Khan Shahin Giray left the Crimea, as Potemkin had ordered the repair of the Khan's Palace already in 1783. Repair works lasted three years. It was entrusted to random people, absolutely not versed in the peculiarities of the Crimean architecture. As a result, there occurred a mixture of the Crimean Tatar and European styles,” she wrote.

The Palace was also heavily distorted during the repair of 1822-1831, which was initially led by the provincial architect Ivan Kolodin. And under his hand, part of the buildings in the Persian Garden, marked on the plan of the architect Geste, was dismantled, and the fine art painting of the Crimean Tatar architect and painter Umer, revealed during the restoration of a relatively recent, was painted over.

“The works of Kolodin caused protests of architects and artists, as a result, the Governor-General Count Vorontsov suspended repairs. Kolodin was replaced by the architect Elson, who during six years of work altered the work of his predecessor almost completely, restoring the old look and style where possible,” Gulnara Abdulaeva said.

Over the past two centuries, the occupiers have tried to reduce the area of the Palace complex from 20 to 4 hectares. The Palace was maintained by the tsarist police, and during the Crimean War of 1853-56, a hospital was located in its premises. Only in 1917, thanks to the efforts of the director of the Khan's Palace, Usein Bodaninsky, who convinced the Provisional Government of the need to build a museum here, the palace was left alone.

The historian also published photos of the Khan Palace, where so-called restoration work is currently under way.

Earlier QHA reported that a team of Crimean lawyers seek to launch a legal campaign to protect the Khan Palace in Bakhchysarai.

Lawyers will defend the cultural heritage of the Crimean Tatars from unjustified encroachment and intend to apply to UNESCO.