The very first semester of 2019 has been summarized in the “Service for the Protection of Historical Environment and Cultural Museum-Reservations,” SNCO. Responsible individuals for regional services and museum-reservations introduced the work that has been processed throughout the semester and multiple issues related to the field of protection of monuments in the regions.
In the first six months of 2019, 19 instances of violation of the law have been recorded such as stealing of treasures, illegal funerals, voluntary constructions, land demolishing works, vandalism. Five of those have been recorded in the Syunik region. In order to unravel the wrongful cases, responsible individuals of regional services of museum-reservations cooperated with law enforcement bodies.
Among the problematic and important issues are the lack of monuments’ reservation zones and a number of inaccuracies. The issues have been discussed by persons responsible for regional services.
The operative response unit of SNCO, alongside with Deputy Director K. Pahlevanyan and Secretary Scientist A. Piliposyan, carried out monitoring in territories of most endangered 83 monuments in Lori and Gegharkunik provinces. In the scope of “New life to cross-stones” program, approximately 30 cross-stones were raised and pinned in regions. Responsible bodies of Regional Services promised to increase the number by the upcoming year.
The work of monument guards is especially complicated in mountainous and frontier regions. Heads of Tavush and Ararat Services talked about the difficulties that were encountered during the perambulation. Regional Service Head of Ararat Roman Karapetyan stressed out the fact that during the hot period of the year it is especially dangerous to visit some places because of the presence of snakes in those territories. In his opinion, in order to avoid undesirable outcomes, there is a need to wear boots.
The head of “Goshavank” Historical-Architectural Reservation also touched upon the topic of the monument granted to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. It needs to be preserved as there are stones falling. Goshavank does not have a ticket economy; there are approximately 200-250 visitors per day, to whom the head of the reservation carries out an excursion.
The Chairman of the Reporting Commission, SNCO Deputy Director Karen Pahlevanyan, instructed to introduce a 10-day development program. The same instruction was also given to the head of the “Berd” Historical-Cultural Reservation Arthur Yerkanyan. In his report, the latter stressed out the issue of not having signboards in the territory of the reservation. As Arthur Yerkanyan mentioned, the primary attention for the ten days was granted to “Tavush Berd”/ “Tslik Amrots.”
Reports were also presented by heads of Regional Service of Vayots Dzor, “Arpi” Ecological Reservation, and “Gladzor University” Historical-Cultural Reservation. At the beginning of the year, in Vayots Dzor, an illegal act was reported; a gravestone was reversed. During the report, the completed works have been introduced, as well as a discussion was carried out on the topic of organizing “Gladzor” exhibition (the recent exhibition was carried out 33 years ago). In September, a symposium would be organized in Vayots Dzor, where a celebration dedicated to 735th anniversary of the establishment of Gladzor would take place. Deputy Director of the SNCO encouraged organizing the working process as effective as possible.
Instances of treasure stealing were also reported in Syunik province. Aram Davtyan, chief of the Regional Service touched upon the topics of cross-stones raised in the scope of “New Life to Cross Stones” project, as well as a number of issues related to breaking of the law.
In the upcoming months, in the branch of “Zorats Karer” residence Historical-Cultural Reservation of SNCO, excavation works will be resumed. Chief of the branch mentioned that, of course, opinions of amateurs would be expressed on the topic of “destroying” the monument. However, the expedition will continue the process of excavations in the most effective and practical way possible. Ashot Avagyan also touched upon topics such as the road leading to the reservation, the idea of improving the working conditions in the territory, as well as the necessity of taking down the pavilion in the territory of the reservation.
Regional Services of Yerevan, Kotayk, and Armavir also introduced their reports on both the working process and related issues. Chief of Regional Service of Lori also gave a slide show presentation in which he talked about the most endangered monuments. One of the most famous and interesting monuments in the region is “Lori Berd” large city reservation. There is no ticket economy. While the Directorate of SNCO has a development plan for solving the issues, chief of the reservation, Kimik Serobyan, talked about the necessity of improving working conditions with special emphasis on enclosing the territory of the monument.
In June of last year, based on the decision of Government of the Republic of Armenia, “Bjni Castle” reservation was created, which has a tremendous scientific and financial potential. The whole burden of the work is on the shoulders of the chief. According to Deputy Director of SNCO Karen Pahlevanyan, we need to use the potential of “Bjni Castle” wisely. Here as well, the organization is planning to invest a ticket economy.
Khachik Vardanyan, chief of the “Amberd Castle” in Aragatsotn province, talked about those tourists who break security rules and try to climb on the monument.
“Extreme lovers frequently try to reach the highest point where the flag is pinned based on the advice of their tour guides, which, I believe, is extremely dangerous. Neither sign boards nor words of our laborers help. We need to find a solution in order to avoid critical circumstances,” said Khachik Vardanyan.
Chief of Regional Service of Shirak, Valerik Nazaretyan, talked about 1200 monuments in Shirak province as well as a number of inaccuracies that have been revealed during perambulations. In six months of this year, two cross-stones have already been raised and pinned in the region. The working staff of the regional service will raise and pin five more cross-stones before the end of the year.
Reports were also presented by the head of the Regional Service of Gegharkunik, chiefs of “Zvartnots” and “Garni” Historical-Cultural Museum-Reservations. They talked about the necessity of placing technological tableaus and increasing numbers of visitors.
Departments of the SNCO also presented reports on works that have been carried out throughout the first semester of 2019.
By summing up the reports, Deputy Director of SNCO, President of the Report Commission Karen Pahlevanyan said that a number of unexpected perambulations would be carried out with the purpose of inspecting the working processes in the regions.
“Strict treatment would be imposed in the case of finding out that the monument guard did not visit the territory of the monument on the day of the perambulation,” said Karen Pahlevanyan.
All the necessary information on the assigned works to chiefs of Regional Services, Reservations, and Museum-Reservations will be presented in a written form.