Latest Efforts to Save World’s Historic Armenian Monumen’s

YEREVAN (Armenpress/ArmeniaWeek)–A Non-Governmental Organization that studies Armenian architecture has located and examined Armenian monumen’s in the Republic of Armenia–historic Armenia–the Diaspora–as well on sites of deportations.

The aim of the organization–Research on Armenian Architecture–has been to photograph–examine–and register Armenian historical monumen’s and to publish corresponding informational documen’s.

Head of the organization Samvel Karapetian–says that the task at hand is to "preserve Armenian historic and cultural treasures on paper."

Examinations of Armenian cultural monumen’s are being conducted in Georgia–Azerbaijan–certain regions of Northern Iran–historic Gougark–Barskahayk–and Mountainous Karabagh Republic.

Unlike Armenia’s other neighbors–says Karapetian–Iran not only preserves but also restores Armenian monumen’s–allocating funds from its national budget towards that goal.

Karapetian said he is convinced that the unique Armenian historic and cultural treasures prove that Armenia is an equal among other nations and civilizations.

The town of Jugha was the center of Yerndjak province in the late Middle Ages. In 1605–its population was deported to Persia under orders of Shah Abbas I and the town was destroyed.

Only Jugha’s cemetery was left unharmed–with gravestones dating back to the Ninth Century. In 1648–there were 10,000 khachkars (stone crosses) registered at the cemetery–a number that had shrunk to 2,700 by 1973.

In 1998–eyewitnesses on the Iranian side of the border reported seeing Azeris smashing the khachkars with bulldozers and removing the pieces on trucks.

In February 2003–Karapetian announced that the Armenian cemetery in the Jugha has been entirely destroyed.

"These acts not only harm those who have created culture–but also all of modern civilization," says Karapetian.

To date–Research on Armenian Architecture has published 13 volumes–including some in English and Russian. An outline of an additional 30 volumes is ready for print. The organization’s archives house 56,000 digital images and 140,000 photographs of Armenian cultural and historical monumen’s.

"We have photographs of the majority of Armenian monumen’s throughout the world," revealed Karapetian.

In Northern Artsakh alone–there are 2,800 monumen’s and a total of 6,200 in Mountainous Karabagh Republic–with 1,800 in the liberated lands. Georgia houses 650 Armenian churches.

Research on Armenian Architecture was founded in Germany in 1983 by Dr. Armen Hakhnazarian. Branches were established in the United States in 1996 and in Armenia in 1998.

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