Turkey Stalls on Ani Cultural Passage Issue

YEREVAN (Armenpress–Arka)–A conference of scientists dealing with the Cathedral of Ani–is being held in Echmiadzin–from September 22 to September 27. The conference is dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral of Ani. It is chaired by Catholicos Karekin II–the head of Armenian Church.

A range of lectures dedicated particularly to the Cathedral–and generally to Armenian architecture–are being presenteby prominent Armenian historians and architects.

Meanwhile–the issue of creating a cultural passage out of the ancient capital of Ani remains a vital topic during negotiations between Armenian and Turkish cultural ministers.

With the creation of the passage–tourists to Armenia would be able to view the 1000 year old monument–which is protected by UNESCO.

For two years now Ankara neither accepts nor refuses the Armenian proposal. The minister of culture Roland Sharoyan said that during the meeting of UNESCO members in Istanbul–his Turkish counterpart promised to make the final decision about this proposal within the next few months.

The Cathedral in Ani is one of the most remarkable masterpieces of mediaeval Armenian architecture. Its foundation was laid in 989 by king Smbat II–but because of his early death–construction was continued by Gagik I. The architect was the prominent Drtad. Last year marked the 1000th anniversary of the Mother Cathedral’s consecration.

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