TBILISI (Combined Sources)—Legendary writer Hovannes Tumanian’s house, which was faced with a hostile takeover, was transferred to the Georgian Diocese Wednesday, after being purchased by the Gyumri Mayor earlier this spring.
Chairman of the Armenia’s Writers’ Union Levon Ananyan handed the keys to Georgia’s Primate Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan.
“This is a great honor and a great responsibility,” the Primate said, adding that negotiations are under way for Tumanian’s great-granddaughter to purchase the remaining portion of the property.
The Diocese aims to plans to create a center that will become the central headquarters for all of Georgia’s Armenian cultural organizations and centers.
“The Pan-Armenian foundation of writers has purchased the house and is presenting it to the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church,” said Ananyan at the handover ceremony.
He thanked Gyumri Mayor Vardan Ghukasyan who provided $145,000 toward the purchased of the property and assisted in its renovations.
“We managed to return to return a part of Tumanian’s legacy back to the nation. Thus, we will have a center of Armenian culture in Tbilisi which will become a needed stimulus for making Armenian cultural life more vibrant, ” added Ananyan.
Primate of the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan informed that the cultural center will be officially opened in autumn.
The Union of Armenians in Tbilisi sounded the alarm in December and issued an announcement about the fate of the Tumanian home.
“The historical building was transferred to a businessman back in the 90s. The businessman put the apartment on sale, and the ‘GeoTuran’ Turkish-Georgian joint venture is going to purchase the apartment to turn it into a hostel for Turkish workers. Company’s management has even asked poet’s great-grandchild Alina Tumanyan, who lives in the second part of the building, to sell her territory also, but she refused to,” the statement said.
At a press conference late last year, Safrazbekyan complained about the fact that Armenia did not purchase the home when it had the chance.
Employees of GeoTuran visited Alyona Tumanyan, the poet’s great-granddaughter who owns a part of the house and proposed that she sell them to the company as well. She refused.