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Restoration of Armenian Heritage Sites

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  • #11
    Re: Azerbaijan - Internal Political Affairs

    Originally posted by bell-the-cat View Post
    Only the core of the Dashtadem castle is from the 10th century, from the Ani kingdom period. That part is a very small, rectangular, keep-like structure which had an upper-level entrance and an enormous stone-vaulted cellar. There was probably an outer line of low walls to protect this keep - and the surviving outer walls of the castle are probably them (the north wall of the church forms part of the wall). The inscription is not Mongol, it is dated 1174 and refers to a Shaddadid ruler of Ani. The Shaddadids enlarged the basic fortress by adding a series of angular and half-cylinder towers to the keep, literally encasing the old keep inside them. Dashtadem was a small town in the 18th-century and, as you correctly said, the outer stone walls with a series of low cylindrical and rectangular towers were built at that time, by the Khans of Yerevan.

    The damage and destruction caused by the recent rebuilding work looks to be extensive and is probably irreversible. The work displays a very low quality workmanship (i.e., modern cement used, new masonry with vertical proportions unlike the horizontal proportions of the original masonry). The whole project runs completely against modern conservation practices that insist that nothing unnecessary is added to original structures, that a monument's historical integrity should be preserved, and that any interventions should be reversable. The surviving walls were in no danger of collapsing – none of the cracks were structurally significant and all the foundations were intact and strong. The building work has doubled the height of the surviving Shaddadid-period walls (dwarfing and hiding the original keep) – there is no archaeological evidence to show they once looked like this. Since the rebuilders did not have a clue as to how tall the walls once were, or what the top of the walls once looked like, the new construction simply stops at a random and uniform height (just like the much-condemned Turkish “reconstruction” of the Ani walls). This extensive rebuilding goes completely against the core aims of modern conservation – by altering and by removing evidence of the structure’s chronology and history, the rebuilding work has destroyed the value of the site as an historic monument. I also expect that the massive additional weight of all that new masonry will have damaged the structural integrity of the surviving original masonry, placing the whole monument at risk of collapse (which is what has happened at Ani). The outer walls have also been inflicted by extensive rebuilding, ruining their historical value. And then there is the compulsory rebuilt church to ease the corrupt benefactor’s entrance into heaven. The loss of the site’s archaeology has also probably been extensive: large areas of earth seem to have been cleared away and I don’t remember hearing of any actual archaeological investigations to accompany the building work. And a place that was once beautiful is now ugly - it all just looks ugly.

    I was assuming that the aim of the destruction was a simple a-la-Turca method of transferring money from the state to the local Talin mafia by using Dashtadem as a conduit and a front. For that to work, the project has to be made as large as possible (to artificially inflate the budget to make sure there would be plenty of money in it) and the actual work done needs to be done as cheaply as possible (to maximise the amount of money that can be diverted into the pockets of the criminals) - this is the way it worked in Turkey at Ani and at Aghtamar. If my assumption is wrong, then it just shows how backward conservation practices have become in Armenia and how the ego and wealth of a single person can enable that person to do whatever he likes. In most developed countries, the destruction inflicted on Dashtadem would have been illegal and a major criminal act. But most developed countries have laws in place to protect their important historical monuments – so it would not have got to the stage of being a crime - the work would never have even started. But it seems that in today’s Armenia, the people who should understand how to conserve monuments know nothing about conservation, and those who should be upholding protection laws are the ones breaking them.
    Next in line for destruction is Talin's famous 7th-century domed basilica. This time, rather than criminal oligarchs paying for the "restoration", it is fanatical Christians, a pair of wealthy fundamentalist Christians from America who have bought their way into influence inside the Armenian Church.
    Plenipotentiary meow!


    • #12
      Re: Restoration of Armenian Heritage Sites

      Ancient frescos damaged at Ishkhani, Turkey

      Restoration works of the Ishkhani Georgian church in Turkey are conducted improperly - according to the recent reports, the negligence and incompetence of the people working on the cultural monument on the historic territory of Georgia caused the damage of ancient frescos and the remains of the mosaic floor, as the works are conducted by workers without the observation of specialists.
      The national center of manuscripts has released photo and video material depicting the situation in the church.

      The territory is cleaned up by tractors, which affects the damaged monument severely.
      The ministry of culture fails to explain why the staff began the restoration and cleaning works without the consent and participation of Georgian side. Foreign Ministry has already addressed the Turkish colleagues to provide suspension of the works on Ishkhani, but no official response has been made. A group of Georgian experts is expected to leave for Turkey today.

      Rustavi 2
      Plenipotentiary meow!


      • #13
        Re: Restoration of Armenian Heritage Sites

        Disagreements Delay Restoration Work on 6th Century Odzoun Church
        Larisa Paremuzyan

        12:27, April 12, 2013

        Renovations to the 6th century Odzoun Church appear to have failed due to disagreements amongst those responsible.

        Father Vrtanes Baghalyan told Hetq that the Armenian government had allocated 20 million AMD ($50,000) for renovations in 2010 based on a request filed by Catholicos Karekin II.

        The Hovhan Odznetsi Imastaser Catholicos Fund assumed responsibility for the renovations. Fund Director Vanoush Shermazanyan told Hetq that Movses Tzavaryan, an Alaverdi native now residing in Moscow, has donated 320 million AMD for the renovation work.

        Renovations to the church began last July and are scheduled for completion in October, 2014.

        Read more:


        • #14
          Re: Restoration of Armenian Heritage Sites

          Because of the amount of destruction they are inflicting on Armenia's architectural heritage, I'm beginning to feel physically sick whenever I see images of these black-robed, black-bearded scum. Luckily, perhaps, I am not likely to come across any of their breed in the immediate future. Such is my growing revulsion of them, I think I'd maybe physically attack them. In 20 or so years of coming across Kurds and Turks with their pickaxes and treasure obsessions, I can't say I've felt the same degree of hatred towards any of them (though I've had, sometimes, the urge to give the occasional more obnoxious individual a little push over a cliff).
          Last edited by bell-the-cat; 04-16-2013, 01:56 PM.
          Plenipotentiary meow!


          • #15
            Re: Restoration of Armenian Heritage Sites

            Facebook campaign to save Yerevan's Pushkin 25 building:
            Attached Files


            • #16
              Re: Restoration of Armenian Heritage Sites

              Lori's Bgavor Church to Undergo Facelift in 2014



              • #17
                Re: Restoration of Armenian Heritage Sites

                Covered Market of Yerevan



                • #18
                  Re: Restoration of Armenian Heritage Sites

                  Hayastan or Bust.


                  • #19
                    Re: Restoration of Armenian Heritage Sites


                    18:40, 07 Sep 2015
                    Siranush Ghazanchyan

                    Historians believe they have unearthed tombs dating back over 2,800
                    years in Van, present-day eastern Turkey, The Daily Mail reports.

                    The pithos burial chambers, which are like large ceramic jars,
                    are thought to be from the Kingdom of Uratu, which ruled from the
                    mid-ninth century BC until its defeat by the Medes.

                    Van was the capital of the Urartian Kingdom until it fell early in
                    the sixth century BC.

                    Every summer a team of around 50 archaeologists take part in an annual
                    excavation at Van Fortress in a bid to uncover treasures that have
                    been buried for thousands of years.

                    With permission from the country's Ministry of Culture and Tourism
                    university teams have been working together.

                    They are currently working at the top of the fortress, where a palace
                    was located, and the northern quarter.

                    Just 38km from Van excavation work is also taking place at Uratu
                    Castle. This year they discovered part of the walls.

                    Urartu or Kingdom of Van was an Iron Age Kingdom in the Armenian

                    By 9th c. BC the Urartu kingdom had established its regional power far
                    beyond its capital at Tushpa (present day Van), invading Mesopotamia,
                    and unifying the tribes in the Armenian plateau into one centralized

                    The rise of the empire of Urartu is centered around three kings:
                    Menua, Argishti and Sardur I.

                    Remains of the Urartian Empire in Armenia include the citadels of
                    Erebuni, Karmir Blur, Armavir (Argishtikhinili), and three fortified
                    cities on Lake Sevan.


                    Hayastan or Bust.