“Cultural Reserve-Museums and Historical Environment Protection Service” NCSO does not have lack of proficient employees but there are individuals whose responsible presence is vital and when that responsibility is accompanied by love, infinite diligence experts also become devotees. This time our interview time was with Vayots Dzor’s great expert of monuments who has been a true devotee. During 25 years of work in the field of the protection of monuments’ her devotion has doubled and tripled. Head of the Regional PHE of Vayots Dzor Melania Dovlatyan during her 56 years of experience has managed to occupy high positions which have not changed her human qualities. Moreover, no matter how much responsible and sometimes sharp and decisive her job has been she never lost femininity.
Today the 75-year-old M. Dovlatyan confesses that she can’t imagine her life without her job. It will take a long time to enumerate Melania Dovlatyan’s positions but well name some of them only; Head of the Pioneer House, First Secretary, General Administration of Monuments PHE and CMR, Komsomol Yeghegnadzor’s regional committee, head of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Communist Party of Yeghegnadzor Regional Committee, Second Secretary of the Communist Party of Yeghegnadzor Regional Committee. (Once called “Central Committee Secretary”) Yeghegnadzor District Council of People’s Deputies an official, who gave numerous strict orders and responsible assignments during her job but at home she is a caring wife and mother, she thinks that the family is the most important achievement in her life. Why and how it began? Let’s go back a few decades and turn the pages of biography of Melania Dovlatyan and reached her profession selection.
When choosing a profession Yerevan Agricultural Institute as agronomist she could not imagine how her life would turn and fate would dictate its will? Accidentally chosen profession did not have a key role in her life. The author of initiative of the 700th anniversary of the University of Gladzor celebration acknowledges that if she was not Yeghegnadzor’s executive chairwoman today probably “Gladzor University” cultural museum-reserve would not exist. “In 1961 I was the Head of the Pioneer House and our tour group of teenagers had won a prize and was awarded a union referral to the Crimea. I took the kids to the Crimea.
On that day the Day of the Navy in Sevastopol was being celebrated and I was so impressed by the holiday parade that I decided, such a celebration should be noted in my homeland, which would contribute to Armenia and in particular Yeghegnadzor” says Melania Dovlatyan. At that time twenty-one-year-old Melania’s dream was her pure imagination, nothing else. Already the Komsomol Secretary M. Dovlatyan was able to get acquainted with the former president’s letter to the executive committee of the department of Archeology State University, where she was asked to send a group of experts to examine the history of the University of Gladzor and after 1970 starting with archaeological studies, she was there during the next expedition led by Igit Gharibyan. Before the exploration would end Melania was appointed the second secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Yeghegnadzor. She told the secretary of the CPA Committee Karlen Dallakyan about her desire of the celebrating of the 700th anniversary of Gladzor University and establishing a museum of Gladzor. After getting his agreement she started to work with more confidence and enthusiasm, collecting necessary information for the implementation of the program, which seemed impossible. In 1980 M. Dovlatyan was elected Yeghegnadzor’s District Council chairwoman. One day she told about her desire to Fadey Sargsyan (“I thank God that there was Fadei Tachatich, says appreciatively M. Dovlatyan”) who initiated the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia Karen Demirchyan. Fadey Sargsyan included the issue in the agenda of the USSR Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers discussed and gave recommendations to the National Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Culture, Education, Utilities Ministries, Matenadaran, Monument’s Protection Department, Union of Artists, PetHrat (State Publication). For supporting of the implementation of her dreams she was finally able to meet the First Secretary of the Communist Party Karen Demirchian. “What do you want to start with?” asked Karen Demirchyan, I said “The emblem”. As I took with me my pre-selected symbols, I showed him and he chose a sun clock and said, “Start to work, we are with you”. Then I met Gregory Ivanich. Grigor Hasratyan was a great man. An assignment was given to print books, some of them were in my plans and others were added. Grigor Khanjyan ordered to paint the door of Gladzor museum” continues M. Dovlatyan. Before the opening of the Museum Karen Demirchyan came and got acquainted with the work that had been done. “He walked, looked around, got acquainted with what had been done. The program was to have international cover, but …” She was sad for a moment. “A huge amount of work was done, the whole process had been carried out by Stepan Karpovich and he helped me a lot” Melania Dovlatyan remembers with gratitude. That’s all she accomplished the seemingly impossible dream of youth, of course circumstances and situations dictate their course and outcome, shadowing many applications. Difficulties caused by the central authorities temporarily prevented the opening of the museum, however, M. Dovlatyan’s patriotic affair finally was accomplished, a monument immortalizing Armenian schooling and culture, “Gladzor University” cultural museum reserve was established. Today the appearance of the cultural museum building “Gladzor University” is the same as when it was a church, only the interior of the building has been changed transforming it into a museum and the backyard was reconstructed. For our 75-year-old interlocutor the main work of her life has been and remains the creation of the “Gladzor University” cultural museum-reserve. At the end of the conversation I asked her to go back to her childhood. Melania Dovlatyan smiled. “My mother was a tender, soft woman and she often took me to Noravank on foot, our perception of home values was very high. My father played the tar, often voiced by Komitas, Sayat-Nova. I wanted to be a doctor to heal him, but it did not work, I was admitted to the Agriculture Institute.” Now you can see how Melania Dovlatyan appeared in the field of protection of monuments! Our interlocutor becomes more enthusiastic to continue the conversation when we speak about monuments. That is exactly what is closest to her soul. “When I joined the pioneer palace, I wrote a program “Tourism in Vayots Dzor” I established groups in all schools. Vayots Dzor was a ready model of historical monuments. The tour started in the national competitions, the contests seriously with all. “This is how love and dedication of monuments starts”. M. Dovlatyan very quickly reaches any monument in Vayots Dzor no matter whether it is the Bear Cave, Birds or Mozrov show. You will probably ask how does she manage it. “It’s like being a mother who takes care of her children, protects them when something happens, worries about them; so am I. I get confused when something is wrong with any monument so I go to see it myself” says M. Dovlatyan smiling. However M. Dovlatyan admits that the most beloved monument is Arates. “This is an exceptionally fine monument that stands out from the others, it is a must see. Arates arch collapsed in front of my father, unfortunately, but now we can see only the photo of the original monument, ornaments of Arates made it a unique monument, but unfortunately it’s smoldering before my eyes”, she regrets. The conversation about Arates leads her to embrace the memories at once, changing not only her face, but also her voice; it becomes softer and warmer when she speaks about the pain and danger of Arates monument. She wants to see it restored some day. “Being a senior official is a very difficult job for a woman, you don’t have to see much, to hear much, but there are also things that should by no means escape from your attention and you will have to go through it”. After a moment of silence, half joking half serious she said “It’s easier to deal with men than with women, as it’s nearly impossible to rule women”. All the superiors of Melania Dovlatyan were men, but she never had any problems with them. “I have never tried to control anybody and I myself have never been controlled by anyone”. She has awarded many workers, but she herself does not have a high state award, except SSR Supreme Soviet diploma, which she still keeps. Melania Dovlatyan celebrates her 75th anniversary this year but those who know her they know that Mrs. Melania continues to work with the same zeal and devotion. She says that the secret of success is her wonderful staff.