Culture Minister Calls on Youth to Join Cultural Life

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Culture is a marketable merchandise and it should become part of our market relations," said Armen Smbatian–Minister of Culture–Sports and Youth Affairs–at a meeting with students at Brusov’s Institute of Foreign Languages Monday.

According to the Minister–culture has such potential that it can be financially independent–therefore–only two or three theaters out of some twelve should be supported by the government–while others will have to be financially independent.

It was also mentioned at the meeting that there were currently three state-run movie-houses in Yerevan–the rest having already been privatized. Smbatian assured that everything possible was being done for the G. Sundukian State Drama Theater to be opened by next month. It was also noted that only two or three films were shot in Armenia last year.

Smbatian said Mstislav Rostropovic–Placido Domingo and Van Kleibern are scheduled to tour Yerevan. Also–next spring–artists from China will visit Yerevan as well. Currently–the Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia is on tour in Greece–while the State Academic Choir conducted by Hovhannes Chekijan is performing in Turkey.

Smbatian believes the ties with cultural organizations in Russia’should become even closer. Thus–an exhibition of the treasures of the Armenian Church will be housed for the first time at the Kremlin this year. The Symphonic Orchestra of Armenia will pay a return visit to Moscow to perform there–while the theatrical event–"Satirikon," is due out in Yerevan soon.

Student exchange programs with the US–Russia and Germany are also being developed. Currently in New York–there are fifteen students of the Yerevan State Conservatory studying abroad..

Assuring that the Ministry was ready for cooperation with the Republic’s youth organizations–Smbatian urged the young people to show more activeness in the cultural life of Armenia.

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