BY JORA MANOUCHERIAN
As you are aware, Samvel Karapetian, the president of Research on Armenian Architecture Foundation (RAA – Armenia) passed away on Thursday, February 27, 2020 in Yerevan, Armenia leaving a huge void and emptiness in the organization.
This was a big loss not only for RAA, but also for the Armenian cultural sector. Samvel’s role in research, documentation, archival and publication of the Armenian historical/architectural structures and monuments located all over historical Armenia is irreplaceable and his contributions towards this effort are invaluable. His series of lectures on many special topics as well as historic and daily matters, delivered personally and online to audiences of enthusiasts will be sorely missed.
In order to secure the continued success of RAA and its valuable work, which started more than 50 years ago by its founder Dr. Armen Haghnazarian, the Board of Trustees of RAA/Armenia decided to restructure the administration of the organization. After several meetings with the members of the staff, the Board of Trustees held a meeting on March 4, 2020, and made the following appointments:
Emma Abrahamian (Samvel’s wife), Managing Director
Raffi Kortoshyan, Co-Director Administrative and Publications
Ashot Hakobyan, Co-Director Architectural Activities
Armen Gevorkyan, Co-Director Computers and Technology
On March 6, the Chairman of the RAA Board of Trustees met with Narine Khachaturyan, Deputy Minister of Culture and presented RAA’s the newly appointed RAA management team to her. He emphasized the fact that RAA activities will continue without any interruption. Khachaturyan assured that the Ministry will continue to fully support the important activities of RAA and requested to inform her of any additional needs the organization might have to conduct its day to day operations, so that they can facilitate.
During the last several years Samvel created a virtual school by transferring his knowledge and skills to his staff members. Today, the RAA staff is fully capable of taking care of all the tasks technically and professionally.
Currently all the projects are being carried forward with great success and enthusiasm. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak the board has asked all the staff members to work from home. To support this initiative, Armen Gevorkian in a short time has made a great effort in creating the required infrastructure to enable all staff members to work remotely.
We are confident that the future of RAA is very bright and under the auspices of the Cultural Ministry and the Board of Trustees, the new administration and staff will be able to carry the torch and move forward successfully.
And of course, we will need and thank you for your continued confidence and support.
Jora Manoucherian is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of RAA/Armenia,