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Khankendi is the de facto capital and the largest city of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, though the city is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. As of 2015, the population of Stepanakert is 55,200.
The Vahram Papazyan Drama Theater of Stepanakert was founded in 1932. In 1967, the monumental complex of Stepanakert known as We Are Our Mountains was erected to the north of Stepanakert, It is widely regarded as a symbol of the Armenian heritage of the historic Artsakh. After the independence of Armenia, many cultural and youth centres were reopened. The cultural palace of the city is named after Charles Aznavour.
Stepanakert is home to the Mesrop Mashtots Republican Library opened in 1924, Artsakh History Museum opened in 1939, Hovhannes Tumanyan Children's Library opened in 1947, Stepanakert National Gallery opened in 1982, and the Memorial Museum of the Martyred Liberators opened in 2002. A new cultural complex of the Armenian heritage of Artsakh is under construction.
The Artsakh State Museum based in Stepanakert, has an important collection of ancient artifacts and Christian manuscripts.
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