Which of Yerevan buildings buried in construction dust and debris is more than 200 years old?
Sedrak Baghdasaryan, Head of the Victims of State Needs NGO, addresses the question to the city officials who are decorating the city with balloons and artificial butterflies.
For example, the House of Officers built in 1839 ‘saw’ Armenia’s sovietization and independence, hosted great enlighter Khachatur Abovyan, became theatre and cinema and later served as a military dorm, but the building was destroyed during the years of independence. In 2005, the city authorities decided to replace the 175-year-old monument with a pizzeria. It was this very building that Khachatur Abovyan left one morning and was never seen again. There was an oak tree in the yard which had been planted by the famous writer.
The famous Gilanyan lemonade factory, another historical and cultural monument in Armenia, stood in the other part of the city, just opposite Vazgen Sargsyan street.
“Our organization addressed a letter to the Ministry of Culture alarming that the factory and the House of Officers had been destroyed without the consent of the Ministry,” Mr Baghdasaryan recalls. However, the Ministry neglected their alarms.
Karo Ayvazyan, Head of the Department of Historical and Cultural Monument Preservationat the Ministry of Culture, says the remains of the two buildings are currently in the territory of Renco Company. The city authorities intend to restore the buildings on Arami and Byuzand streets within the framework of Old Yerevan project. The project was to have been implemented in 2007. The Old Yerevan project envisages moving the buildings dating back to late XIX – early XX centuries to one of the main sections of the capital. Today the authorities remind about the project every time a new monument is destroyed in Yerevan but they never build another in its place.