Toumanian’s House Saved from Becoming Hostel for Turkish Workers

Hovaness Toumanian's house in Tbilisi

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—A great-granddaughter of legendary Armenian author Hovanes Toumanian told a government delegation on Thursday that the Tbilisi residence of the author has a buyer, thus halting an effort by a Georgian-Turkish joint venture to turn the house into a hostel for Turkish migrant workers.

Irma Safrazbekyan told Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan that the buyer of the house was willing to donate the house to the Armenian community in Tbilisi on the condition that it would be turned into a cultural center. Also attending the meeting were Armenia’s Minister of Culture, Hasmik Poghosyan, Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarch Kocharyan and the chairman of Armenia’s Writers’ Union Levon Ananyan.

After the sale of the house, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry will initiate dialogue with Georgia to transfer the house to the Armenian community, said the Prime Minister.

Last month, the Union of Armenians in Tbilisi sounded the alarm by issuing an announcement.

“The historical building was transferred to a businessman back in the 90s. The businessman put the apartment on sale, and the ‘GeoTuran’ Turkish-Georgian joint venture is going to purchase the apartment to turn it into a hostel for Turkish workers. Company’s management has even asked poet’s great-grandchild Alina Tumanyan, who lives in the second part of the building, to sell her territory also, but she refused to,” the statement said.

At a press conference late last year, Safrazbekyan complained about the fact that Armenia did not purchase the home when it had the chance.

The sale to the Georgian-Turkish joint venture has prompted the Armenian government to send a delegation, headed by the chairman of the Armenian Writers’ Union, Levon Ananyan, to Tbilisi.

Ananyan said that the market price for the 120 square meter apartment is around $70,000.

Employees of GeoTuran visited Alyona Tumanyan, the poet’s great-granddaughter who owns a part of the house and proposed that she sell them to the company as well. She refused.

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