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To Prevent Cultural Genocide

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  • chinchilla
    Poor Gyumri. That earthquake turned it into a "typically Armenian" city: barren and ruined. And of course half of its former inhabitants are now in the diaspora, especially here in California.

    It's too bad about the borders being closed or else Armenians could study Ani as well as its surroundings freely. However, I once read an interview by Hetq where they interviewed an American specialist in architecture, and she said that if the border were opened, the "Gyumri mafiosi" are ready to do to Gyumri what has been done to Yerevan (she didn't exactly say it that way, but she probably meant it).

    Here it is:

    And perhaps those Armenian lobbies in Washington should lobby to have Armenia remove the quarry...

    Leave a comment:

  • bell-the-cat
    Originally posted by Gavur View Post
    Thanks as always for the clarification and insight that article was unable to convey (wow amazing pic!)
    Thank "Google Earth".

    The river of course is the border between Turkey and Armenia.

    I think the satellite photo was taken in 2003.

    If you look at photo 10 at that shows some of the gravestones that are located just below the rubble of the quarry shown in photo 7. They are Christian graves - they are orientated east-west - and there are probably a lot more hidden under the earth.

    Leave a comment:

  • Gavur
    Thanks as always for the clarification and insight that article was unable to convey (wow amazing pic!)

    Leave a comment:

  • bell-the-cat
    Here is a picture of the location. I think the site lies at the cliffs between the two quarries. Horomos monastery is at the top right.
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:

  • bell-the-cat
    Originally posted by Gavur View Post
    is the only suburb of Ani located
    within the territory of the Republic
    of Armenia, making it the only
    part of Ani open to archaeological
    investigation by Armenians.
    Completely wrong. But it is easy to see why it is made out to be true. There are the remains of suburbs of Ani directly opposite Ani, but they are being destroyed by the quarry that is also directly opposite Ani (and which, rumour has it, is under the control of the same mafiosi that run Gyumri). A lot, including cave churches, has already been destroyed - and a medieval cemetery is now threatened. I don't think Dr. Khachatrian would last long in Gyumri if he were to make too much publicity about that.

    Thanks to the efforts
    of Dr. Khachatrian, the mining
    activities were terminated and
    the site was saved from destruction.
    Quarrying is actually still going on all around the site (as well as at the massive quarry opposite Ani of course). The settlement probably existed because it was located at a spot on the river that could be easily forded.

    Leave a comment:

  • Gavur
    Site in Armenia provides information about ancient capital across the border

    Project Discovery funds archaeological research at
    an Ani suburb, on the Armenian side of the border

    Project Discovery has awarded a
    grant of $7,175 to Dr. Hamazasp
    Khachatrian, director of the Shirak
    Regional Museum in Gyumri, to
    conduct archaeological research at
    Haikadzor was occupied during
    the Middle Ages, when it was a
    suburb of Ani, the famed medieval
    capital of Armenia. The remains of
    Ani are on the Turkish side of the
    Armenian-Turkish border. Haikadzor
    is located in front of the monastery
    of Horomos, situated about 15
    km (9 mi) northeast of Ani, beside
    the Akhurian River on the Armenian-
    Turkish border.
    Horomos, founded during the
    reign of the Bagratid King Abas I
    (928-953), brother of King Ashot
    Yergat, was one of the most important
    religious and cultural centers
    within the kingdom of Ani. Haikadzor
    is the only suburb of Ani located
    within the territory of the Republic
    of Armenia, making it the only
    part of Ani open to archaeological
    investigation by Armenians. Thus,
    this grant affords a unique and important
    opportunity to study the
    material culture of Ani.
    Ani, built on a spectacular site
    – a plateau enclosed by deep ravines
    – was once the capital of a medieval
    Armenian kingdom that covered
    much of present-day Armenia and
    eastern Turkey. Renowned for its
    splendor and magnificence, Ani rivaled
    the great cities of Constantinople,
    Baghdad, and Cairo. At the
    height of its glory, Ani’s population
    reached between 100,000 and
    Ani is first mentioned in Armenian
    chronicles in the 5th century
    as a possession of the Armenian
    Kamsarakan dynasty. By the
    early 9th century, Ani had gone
    to Bagratunis. By the end of the
    10th century, the Armenian catholicate
    had moved its seat to Ani.
    The city reached its apogee at the
    start of the 11th century, when it
    was known as the “City of Forty
    Gates” and the “City of a Thousand
    and One Churches.” Located at the
    crossroads of various trade routes,
    Ani developed strong commercial
    ties with the cities of Byzantium,
    Persia, Southern Russia and Central
    The city comprised dozens of religious
    structures (churches, chapels,
    monasteries, and mausoleums)
    and secular buildings (royal
    palaces, mansions, baths, markets,
    caravanserais) and defensive
    structures (the citadel and double
    line of ramparts) as well as bridges,
    aqueducts, and sewer systems.
    While the urban center of Ani was
    being developed, so too was an underground
    Ani being built, whose
    remains testify to the existence
    of hundreds of houses, dozens of
    chapels and tombs, monastery
    complexes, and city service facilities
    such as stables, mills, cellars,
    reservoirs, stores and food shops,
    all essential in the event of a siege
    of the city.
    The city’s economic, social, and
    cultural boom was accompanied by
    the expansion of its building and architecture.
    Its numerous religious
    structures, palaces, and fortifications
    were among the most technically
    and artistically advanced in
    the world at that time. Ani’s architects
    were of such renown that the
    influence of the Ani school of architecture
    extended over the whole of
    But Ani’s glory would soon fade.
    The city fell victim to waves of conquerors
    over several centuries, and
    later was devastated by an earthquake.
    Ani was finally abandoned
    and largely forgotten – until the
    late 1890s, when Toros Toromanyan
    and Nikolai Marr undertook
    to excavate at Ani. Their research
    was interrupted by the First World
    Lost magnificence
    The site Dr. Khachatrian will study
    was discovered in 1998. It was used
    as a stone quarry, which destroyed
    part of the site. Thanks to the efforts
    of Dr. Khachatrian, the mining
    activities were terminated and
    the site was saved from destruction.
    In 2003–06 the Terzian family of
    Paris funded archaeological excavations
    at Haikadzor. During this
    time, excavations were carried out
    both within and outside of the
    caves there. As a result of these
    investigations, the archaeological
    team was able to glean insight
    into the lifestyle of the people
    who populated Ani. One of the
    caves had been occupied by six
    to eight horned cattle, indicating
    that the people were engaged in
    cattle breeding. The archaeologists
    uncovered a bakery with 20 ovens
    for baking bread, indicating that
    the local residents not only made
    bread for their own consumption
    but also for sale to the larger population
    of Ani. Copper and silver
    coins discovered in the caves and
    nearby territory indicate robust
    commercial activities.
    Further research at the site
    is of critical importance to the
    study of Ani. The last excavation
    of Ani, carried out by Toros Toromanyan
    and Nikolai Marr, ended
    in 1917. All the finds from that
    excavation were transported to
    Russia in 1918 to preserve them
    from Turkish intervention. Unfortunately,
    much of the material
    never reached Russia and was lost
    The National History Museum
    of Armenia has only one collection
    of Ani finds that includes artifacts
    from the Bronze to the Middle
    Ages. However, that that collection,
    for the most part, comprises only
    fragments of ceramics and metal,
    and none of them was properly
    documented at the time of their
    discovery so they have little value
    as scientific evidence.
    Dr. Khachatrian is optimistic
    that his team’s further excavations
    at Haikadzor will reveal a wealth
    of important information about
    the material culture and lifestyle of
    the people of Ani, thereby preserving
    in the annals of world history
    this magnificent time and place in
    Armenia’s past.

    Leave a comment:

  • bell-the-cat
    Originally posted by Gavur View Post
    "The restoration of the Sourb Khach Church has been carried out at a
    high level and complies with international standards, on the whole,"
    G.Gyurjyan said.

    Entirely wrong. The restoration breaks or ignores just about every current standard of best-practice.
    The fact that the restoration was up to Armenian standards is nothing to be proud of. His very use of the word "restoration" (as if it were a good thing) graphically shows how backward the concepts of preserving historical monuments and artefacts currently are in both Turkey and Armenia. That is not to say I am particularly critical of Mr Gyurgyan, he is a decent person, but he should have better advisors on the subject. For him to wish a similar fate be inflicted on Ani is most disturbing.

    He expressed regret at the fact that the issue of placing a
    cross on the dome of the church was discussed more than the
    restoration itself.
    I have yet to read a single useful comment anywhere on the restoration itself.

    Leave a comment:

  • Joseph

    Read the final paragraph
    Armenians Remember Genocide At Hands Of Turks
    VIDEO: Watch The Latest News
    SLIDESHOWS: View The Day's Top Photos
    (CBS) LOS ANGELES Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Los Angeles City Council and Armenian leaders gathered Friday to commemorate the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide committed by the Turks, which resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million people in 1915.

    "Today's remembrance ... will not only keep us all united in our remembrance of the 1.5 million lost souls, it will also help us teach the new generation to prevent injustice and intolerance and will renew our respect for all of humanity," said Archbishop Honvan Derderian, primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church.

    Turkey rejects the genocide label and argues that about 300,000 Armenians, and at least as many Turks, died during civil strife in 1915.

    The deaths occurred when Armenians in eastern Anatolia fought for independence and sided with Russian troops invading the crumbing Ottoman Empire during World War I.

    "It is important that the next generation of truth tellers is here with us today," Villaraigosa said. "Denial of the genocide is an attempt to instill fear in the hearts of all those who treasure truth. The first condition of justice is recognition of the gravity of the evil done."

    Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, introduced a resolution in January that asked President Bush to recognize the killings.

    In February, the City Council designated the Armenian capital of Yerevan as a sister city to Los Angeles, under a plan spearheaded by Councilman Eric Garcetti.

    "Today it may feel long ago, but to think of the 3,000 years of culture and history ... that (the Armenian genocide) tried to wipe from the earth makes us realize that it is part of our present," Garcetti said.

    (© 2007 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report. )

    Leave a comment:

  • Gavur
    According To Deputy Minister Of Culture, Cross To Be Mounted Soon


    Noyan Tapan
    Apr 02 2007

    YEREVAN, APRIL 2, NOYAN TAPAN. If the Armenian Patriarch of
    Constantinople Mesrob Mutafian had not delivered a speech at the
    re-opening ceremony of Surb Khach (Holy Cross) Church on Aghtamar
    Island of Van, the head of the Armenian delegation which attended
    the ceremony, RA deputy minister of culture and youth issues Gagik
    Gyurjian would have made a speech. G. Gyurjian stated this at the
    April 2 press conference. In his words, according to a preliminary
    agreement and the Turkish side's plan, the Armenian delegation
    was not to make a speech, however, a speech was prepared jointly
    the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs io order to use it in case of
    necessity. The deputy minister said that in his speech the Armenian
    Patriarch of Constantinople pointed out a number of issues of concern
    to the Armenians, including the issue of mounting a cross on the
    church's dome, celebrating the holiday of Surb Khach (Holy Cross)
    once a year, and declaring March 29 Day of Aghtamar (on this day,
    a national festivity with songs and dances will be held). As regards
    the fact that there were Turkish flags and a portrait of Ataturk on
    the church during the ceremony, G. Gyurjian noted that according
    to Turkish law, "the Turkish flag and a portrait of Ataturk shall
    be displayed at all state and governmental events." In his words,
    the flag and portrait were immediately removed after the ceremony.

    He expressed an opinion that the cross of the church will be mounted
    soon - the cross has already been made and is now at the Patriarchate
    of Constantinople. Moreover, the deputy minister said that the group
    implementing the repair work during the church's restoration kept a
    constant touch with them. The Turkish side consulted with Armenian
    architects on the issue of making the cross. G. Gyurjian said that
    the church was restored and repaired in line with international
    architectural standards, although there are some insignificant defects.

    Leave a comment:

  • Gavur
    Armenian Delegation Discusses Restoration Of Ancient City Of Ani In Turkey

    2007-04-02 18:26:00

    "We should establish contacts with the Turkish side and learn to trust
    each other," Armenian Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth Gagik
    Gyurjyan said at a press-conference in Yerevan, Monday. To remind,
    G.Gyurjyan led the Armenian delegation which participated in the
    opening ceremony of the Sourb Khach (St.Cross) Church in Lake Van,
    West Armenia (modern Turkey).

    He noted that the trip was fruitful. During private conversations
    with representatives of the Turkish authorities, the Armenian side
    raised the issue of restoring the ancient Armenian city of Ani. The
    head of the delegation expressed hope that the next meeting of the
    sides will be held for this purpose.

    "The restoration of the Sourb Khach Church has been carried out at a
    high level and complies with international standards, on the whole,"
    G.Gyurjyan said.

    He expressed regret at the fact that the issue of placing a
    cross on the dome of the church was discussed more than the
    restoration itself. "As for the Turkish flag hung out during the
    opening ceremony, it should be noted that it is stipulated by the
    legislation of this country while holding all the official events,"
    he emphasized. Answering the journalists' question whether the
    restoration of the Sourb Khach Church is a PR action made by the
    Turkish Government, G.Gyurjyan pointed out that he welcomes any action
    aimed at restoring an architectural monument, moreover, an Armenian
    monument. "One shouldn't demand too much of Turkey at the current
    stage," he said in conclusion.

    Leave a comment: