YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On April 30–the Ministry of Culture–Youth Affairs and Sports signed a declaration marking the beginning of the implementation of a new grant program in the sphere of culture in Armenia. The declaration was signed by plenipotentiary Norikhito Sone from the Japanese side and deputy minister of culture–youth affairs and sports Ishkhan Zakarian from the Armenian side.
The initial grant of $500,000 was issued to the Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia for the purchase of a gramophone recording studio.
The Philharmonic Orchestra’s art director Loris Tjeknavorian appreciated the Japanese assistance in purchasing new equipment–which–he said–would greatly facilitate the orchestra’s activities.
Michael Lemmon–member of the Board of Trustees of the Union of Friends of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia–who attended the signing ceremony–emphasized that the government of Armenia was unable to render adequate assistance in the sphere of culture. Therefore–he urged the private sector to take the initiative through donations.
It was also said that the grant was the result of two years of negotiations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia–the Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia and the renowned Japanese company "Mitsubishi".