Պատմաճարտարապետական յուշարձանների պահպանման եւ վերականգնման գործընթացը՝ լեռնային Ղարաբաղում

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THE PROCESS OF RECONSTRUCTION OF

HISTORICAL-ARCHITECTURAL MONUMENTS IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH

 

LYUBA KIRAKOSYAN

 

 

Reflecting on the Armenian Genocide, we subconsciously re­member the in­human slaughter of one and a half million innocent victims mur­dered in various ways. But there are losses of many monuments as well. Those losses completely correspond to the classification of the cultural genocide adopted by international organizations.[1]

This cultural genocide was carried out not only on the whole territory of our historical motherland but also in Soviet and present day Azerbaijan. Policies pursued by the Azerbaijan government against Christian Armenian architectural monument went on in several ways: keeping complete silence in publications, misinterpretation of ethno-cultural and religious identity, deliberate destruction and conversion of monuments, different barbaric actions (explosion, destruction, arson, and using the stones of the monuments as building material), converting Armenian churches into Muslim mosques or other build­ing, covering many Armenian monuments with earth and soil, prohibiting visits and investigation, converting spatial composition, image and identity under the name of re­con­struction and preservation.

Before the liberation movement, those devoted to Armenian Studies were deprived of carrying out complex investigation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Today on the already liberated territories the conditions for research, preservation, and reconstruction have become favorable. Investigation didn’t begin during mili­tary actions but immediately after the liberation of the territories. As a result of a ten-year archeological excavation of the Artsakh expedition[2] a number of monuments (Tigranakert of Artsakh, early Christian church of Vankasar, mo­nas­­tery complex of Handaberd) have been excavated, properly presented, and taken under state protection. Large-scale reconstruction is carried out in Dadi­vank[3] monastery. The complex Tsitsernavank[4] is completely archeologically studied and reconstructed. Some secular buildings are being restored. Amaras monastery has been partly reconstructed.[5] Excavation and reconstructive work is being carried on in the prince’s castle in Togh.[6]

Not only the buildings of worship (St. Savior Ghazanchechots and St. John Green Chapel) have been restored, but also some secular buildings have been rebuilt and are now used, such as dwellings and cultural centers in Shushi.

Department of Architectural Theory, Department of Historical-Architec­tural Restoration and Reconstruction of Heritage, and the Fine Arts and History departments of Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction take part in recon­struction and preservation of architectural monuments. Under our direct leader­ship, students take part in measuring work and diploma projects. In 2011, at the international competition of Bachelor’s and Master’s diploma works, “Rein­forcement, Reconstruction and Spatial Improvement of the Early Christian Basilica Church of Tigranakert of Artsakh” was awarded a special prize.

This kind of participation in restoration work can also solve the problems of preparing future scholars. The process of investigation and resto­ration of the historical architectural monuments in Nagorno Karabakh is taking its first steps. The sphere is organized by the department of tourism in the go­vernment of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic supported by the corresponding organs of the Republic of Armenia. Yet, there are many problems in this sphere. First of all the problem of international recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic slows down the smooth and efficient performance of the work. The trans­for­ma­tion of the cultural question into a political tool frequently deprives the sphere of both international material and skilled specialists. There is lack of restoration material and specialists in both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The unique landscape of Artsakh also causes complication in restoration as it re­quires serious material expenses. It is also well known that for the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, a great role is given to the reconstruction and preser­vation of historical architectural monuments which is one of the most important goals of the country’s strategy.




[1]     Charny, I. W., Clas­sification­ o­f Ge­no­ci­de Categories, Encyclopedia of Genocide, Ca­lifornia 1999, p. 9.

[2]     Head of the expedition H. Petrosyan, architect L. Kirakosyan, V. Safaryan, A. Jam­kochyan, I. Karapetyan, T.­ Vardanesova

[3]     Research and preser­vation of the monastery complex and chu­rch­ is carried out by S. Ay­vazyan.

[4]     Excavations were carried out by Dr. H. Simonyan, reconstruction architec­t H. Sa­na­myan

[5]     Architects G. Nazluhkanyan and M. Titanyan

[6]     Excavations were carried out by Dr. A. Jamkochyan and F. Babayan, architect M. Sar­gisyan

 

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