Armenian Monastery among Europe’s ‘Most Endangered’

The ruins of Bardzrakash St. Gregory Monastery in Dsegh, Armenia


YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—The Monastery of Bardzrakash St. Gregory in Dsegh, Armenia is among the 11 monuments and sites shortlisted for “The 7 Most Endangered” 2014 program of the leading European heritage organization, Europa Nostra, and the European Investment Bank.

This monastic complex, dedicated to St. Gregory, the first official head of the Armenian Church, dates from the 10th to the 13th centuries. Situated in the cultural landscape of the village of Dsegh – birthplace of Hovhannes Tumanian and a setting for many of his writings – deep in a verdant gorge, the stone structures of the main buildings lie in ruins, without roofs, and encroached on by vegetation.

The rehabilitation of the monument would help establish Dsegh as a center for tourism and boost the local economy. However, it can only be accomplished with international expertise and support. Armenia’s Ministry of Culture nominated the monument for “The 7 Most Endangered” list.

This year, civil society organizations and public bodies from all over Europe submitted their nominations. Eleven sites were shortlisted by an international panel of specialists in History, Archaeology, Architecture, Conservation and Finance. The final list of 7 sites will be selected by the Board of Europa Nostra. “The 7 Most Endangered” for 2014 will be unveiled at a press conference on May 5 at the House of Europe in Vienna by high-level representatives from Europa Nostra and the EIB Institute.

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