The number of Armenian churches and cemeteries ruined in Western Armenia is increasing every year, says Samvel Karapetyan, an Armenian historian, researcher, author, and expert of medieval architecture.
Mr Karapetyan, who recently returned from Western Armenia, visited Vochkharants village where he witnessed locals destroying Armenian cemeteries in order to find treasure.
“They are even exploding rocks thinking they will find fortune there,” the monument expert said adding that Turkish authorities are telling legends about the treasures left by Armenians and Turks continue to search for treasures in Armenian cemeteries. Mr Karapetyan learnt from the locals that the Turkish authorities were aware of the destruction of Armenian churches and cemeteries.
The expert adds a research group studying Armenian architectural monuments has made interesting discoveries in Western Armenia. “We found interesting monuments, mostly churches and monasteries, in the regions of Kars and Sarighamish. On the other hand, the number of stone-built structures has declined, we could find only their remains,” he said.