CULTURAL HERITAGE IN DANGER

UNESCO International Conference “Cultural Policy, Policy for Culture: The Role of Culture in Post-2015 Development Agenda”, held in Armenia in 2015, adopted a Declaration, which in the strongest terms condemned cultural cleansing, barbaric destruction, violence, looting and other crimes committed against humanity’s cultural heritage and called upon the international․

Gohar Agha Upper Mosque, 1864–1865
In 2019 the mosque was restored keeping in mind the best international practices and standards, the project involved both local and international organizations. Along with an existing partnership with the Artsakh Ministry of Culture, the project also partnered with the Iranian “Part Saman Jahan” architectural bureau; the “TFA-Armenia” architectural bureau; ICOMOS-Armenia; Lorenzo Jurina, professor of the Politecnico di Milano; Faculty of Oriental Studies, Yerevan State University, as well as Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization. The latter provided significant support in inviting 12 specialists with major experience in brickwork construction, as well as the restoration of Islamic spiritual sites, to participate in the mosque renovation efforts.

Contribution of the Republic of Armenia to the consultations on the intentional destruction of cultural heritage as a violation of human rights, in particular cultural rights

The UN Human Rights Office of the Hight Commissionaire published a document, which states that the cultural heritage of national minorities in the Republic of Armenia is protected and preserved in accordance with appropriate legislation in force. According to the Constitution the citizens of Armenia who belong to national minorities have the right to preserve and develop their own customs, language, culture and religious liberties. These rights are reflected in a number of laws, which are being strengthened. The restoration of cultural heritage is implemented by means of financial resources allocated from the State Budget and from public-private partnerships. These resources are equally used to provide the restoration of both Armenian cultural heritage properties and ones belonging to national minorities.

The monuments of Armenian historical and cultural heritage have been a subject of intentional destruction throughout centuries during armed conflicts, as well as in time of peace. Along with human lives lost, cultural heritage is under ongoing attacks and under danger of destruction on both sides. Gross violation is done against the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

As opposed to the policy of Azerbaijan, the Muslim monuments in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh are under Government protection, well preserved and restored and are never used for any other purposes. The authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh have restored a 19th century mosque, the first Muslim monument to open as a tourist attraction in the entirely Christian-populated territory.

The monuments of Armenian heritage throughout the whole territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan have been either alienated (when falsely presented as “related to Caucasian Albania/Arran/Aghvank”) or destroyed.

This December will mark the 15th anniversary of the most recent and notorious of the acts of cultural vandalism committed in Nakhijevan. Several thousands of giant engraved cross-stones and tombstones of the medieval Armenian cemetery of Old Jugha in Nakhijevan were bulldozed by the Azerbaijani army during peacetime. There is ample evidence, including photos and videos, showing the destruction of the Armenian cultural heritage. In total 89 medieval churches, 5.840 ornate cross-stones and 22,000 historical tombstones were demolished only in Nakhijevan between 1997 and 2006. 

Cross stones, Nakhichevan 12-13cc.

The 16th General Assembly of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) adopted in October 2008 a resolution expressing the international community’s concern with regard to these acts of vandalism and regretfully stating: “this heritage that once enjoyed its worthy place among the treasures of the world’s heritage can no longer be transmitted today to future generations.”

Deliberate destruction of cultural heritage sites amounts to war crimes. The history shows that any form of intolerance towards the values of civilization belonging to others, intentionally damaging or destroying cultural or religious heritage, must be condemned with strong determination in order to protect the heritage. By keeping silence, we are paving the way to the new cultural atrocities to be committed in the different parts of the world. 

Museums and collections located in the zone of current fire are under huge risk of destruction. Museum professionals are committed to promote and to call the international and national societies to protect and preserve cultural heritage that is a mean to achieve a global well-being. The international Council of Museums – ICOM promotes the idea of museums and culture being for peace, mutual understanding and protecting human memory.

NEW PUBLICATION ON THE EREROUYK SITE BY PATRICK DONABÉDIAN (in French and Armenian)

ABOUT THE BOOK

This book is addressed to those readers and visitors who want to know better the ancient heritage of Armenia and aims to highlight the archaeological, architectural, art historical, cultural and historical significant value of the Ererouyk complex and its peculiarities, as well as to the greatest extent elucidate the reason for the establishment of this complex in a place which today is in a miserable and isolated state. The current publication also attempts to make comprehensible the factors by which is conditioned the development and preservation of the complex, comprised of totally different structures dating from the ancient times to the end of the Middle Ages. For that reason, two sources of information were used in this book: the first is the accumulated knowledge about this site during the twentieth century and at the turn of twenty-first century, the second are the results of the research conducted by the Armenian-French expedition of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia and Shirak Geological Museum in collaboration with the Aix-Marseille University (France). Finally, this book succinctly presents a new program of the enhancement which is a proposal for fostering the touristic potential not only of the Ererouyk site but also for learning about, adjacent to the complex, the modern architectural heritage of the village of Anipemza.

   

REGARDING THE EREROUYK AND ANIPEMZA PROJECTS: TOWARD A NEW CENTRE OF THE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT 

From 2010 the complex which includes the remains of Ererouyk and the village of Anipemza was the objective of several significant projects of the preservation and enhancement, oriented not only toward the issues of national heritage, but also toward the development of tourism and economy, pursuing a specific mission – improving living conditions of the local population.

The first phase was initiated by the Ministry of Culture of Armenia in 2012 with the support of foreign partners the Laboratory of Medieval and Modern Archaeology in the Mediterranean (Aix-en-Provence) and Center of Studies and Documentation of Armenian Culture (Milan-Venice). Due to the efforts of the Ministry, the Armenian government approved the program of the site’s managing and improvement of the road accessibility. The Ministry has also started an action for including Ererouyk in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

The second phase was in 2015, again with the support of the Laboratory of Medieval and Modern Archaeology in the Mediterranean and the Polytechnic University of Milan, was initiated the research, preservation and tourism importance project by Gaiane Casnati, the architect of the Centre of Studies and Documentation of Armenian Culture. In 2016 Europa Nostra Association and European Investment Bank Institution classified Ererouyk-Anipemza complex in the list of “Seven most endangered sites”. This classification became a starting point for launching a funding campaign for a program that included the creation of a group of the international experts (including the author of these lines) and initiation of a funding campaign for making the project into reality. Two university and scholarly institutions – the Polytechnic University of Milan and the Laboratory of Medieval and Modern Archaeology in the Mediterranean have joined the project.

The goals of the project are: a) to deepen the study of archaeological remains; b) to ensure the protection of destroyed monuments with conservation of their some extremely endangered parts; c) to create conditions for good preservation and presentation of rich collection of stones  nowadays dispersed on the site; d) to promote the site’s managing by supporting Armenian government in the processing of the enhancement program; e) to establish a regional center for tourism with the active involvement of a local population in the village of Anipemza. Such a project definitely seems ambitious and its implementation can occur only in phases. However, if it receives a stable support of Armenian authorities and this way arouses interest of local, national and international players, its implementation in average time frame seems quite possible.

With respect to this last point, it is proposed to restore some of 1920s-30s significant buildings of Anipemza and to place several exhibition spaces there. In one of them can be displayed the collection of sculptured stones – this would allow to represent the history of the architectural complex and at the same time of the early Christian architecture, of its decoration and cross-bearing stele. Another exhibition hall through the documentation and photographs would present the public the life of the village in the Soviet period. The creation of this kind of center would become an important factor for the stimulation of the economy of Anipemza and its surrounding.

For a long-term perspective, in case of favorable political conditions, it is planned to give this center a cross-border significance, making Anipemza an important place for international tourism which would open a door for the exploration of the ancient, medieval and new periods rich heritage of Shirak on two sides of the Armenian-Turkish border. Along with Ani, it can become a cross-border archaeological park, the creation of which would correspond to the endeavors of the scholars, and among them first of all of Adriano Alpago Novello, who have already dreamed about it for a half century.

The inclusion of these two sites in the UNESCO World Heritage List: the city of Ani (obtained on 15th of July, 2016 by the efforts of Turkish authorities) and Ererouyk (listed in the “Tentative list”) should facilitate the implementation of such a project. The current publication is intended to contribute to the fulfillment of these aims.       

JOINT SURVEY AT YERERUYK HISTORICAL SITE

The Government of the Republic of Armenia approved Order # 1919 on the 21st of May, 2020. It states the support to the project of conservation of a unique early Christian site Yereruik located on the North-West of Armenia right on the border between Armenian and Turkey, next to the Anipemza settlement.
In this first phase of the project the National University Of Architecture
And Construction Of Armenia (NUACA ) in partnership with the experts from Milan Polytechnic, Bologna University and ROCHEMP Center will prepare the conservation project for the 5th -6th cc. Yereruik Basilica and the vault, a project of establishment of a museum in the house of culture of Anipemsa will be developed as well.

For this reason on September 16th, 2020 the experts of the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia with the staff members of ROCHEMP regional office for cultural heritage Conservation, Management and Protection have conducted a survey. The architect restorers Dr. Emma Harutyunyan and Nanar Kalantaryan implemented observations of disorders of the remains of Basilica, recorded the humidity level in the stone of the walls, took endoscopic measures using as their expertise, so new technological means.
The map of signage around the site, information panels, walking paths and all required arrangement for the visitors was drown.
The results of the survey will be used for the preparation of the Conservation project of the Yereruyk site.
In 2016, the archaeological site of Yereruyk and the near village of Anipemz have been inserted in the prestigious list of the 7 MOST ENDANGERED sites of Europe thanks to the nomination submitted by the Centro Studi e Documentazione della Cultura Armena (CSDCA).


Yereruyk is the historical site chosen by the scientific board of the ROCHEMP Center as the main site for the training on job of the Training for Cultural Heritage experts.

For more information please visit; http://www.rochemp.org/2020/05/25/webinar-on-ereruyk-a-major-archaeological-site-high-place-of-christian-armenia/

Follow our Blog for further development on this topic.

ROCHEMP Center’s Director Ani Avagyan was invited to talk with Maria Titizian on EVN Report’s podcast about the field of preservation of Armenian cultural and historical heritage

During the talk Ani Avagyan presented the vision, mission and current activities of the ROCHEMP’s Center, as well as discussed relevant issues, challenges in this field and possible solutions for the development and regulation of the field of cultural heritage protection and restoration.

For the podcast follow the link below: https://www.evnreport.com/podcasts/preserving-the-cultural-heritage-of-armenia?fbclid=IwAR1DB25aUO0JCcXm0jeO10Ra5c5U71bxqIBu56-MYmCNy3dZKlwvGQWO4Lc

36 Regional Museums and Museum-Reserves were Provided with the Material and Technical Support

The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia, in collaboration with ICOM Armenia and ROCHEMP Center, has conducted the assessment of needs of museums and museum-reserves based on it, in frames of USAID “My Armenia” initiative, was developed the COVID-19’s impacts relief program. In the first phase of the initiative “My Armenia” program provided 36 museums and reserve-museums of Shirak, Lori, Tavush, Vayots Dzor and Syunik regions of the Republic of Armenia with the technical equipment, hygiene and safety kits, printed posters with guidelines introducing the visiting rules during the pandemic.

The first event of the program’s donation took place at the Khachatur Abovyan’s house-museum to which participated the Deputy of the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia,  Narine Khachaturyan. She congratulated the representatives of museums and museum-reserves on the occasion of museums reopening after a long interruption and talked about the importance of joint programs: “I am grateful to the organizers that made every effort to implement this program. This approach and collaboration are extremely important. The provided material and technical support which is also important from the healthcare’s point of view, will contribute to the effective organisation of work at the reopened museums, – said N.Khachaturyan, expressing hope that museums will not have lack of visitors.  

The program manager of USAID “My Armenia” program, Sisak Mkhitaryan stressed that with this initiative they aim to help museums to deal with the problems and challenges posed by COVID-19: “With this support museums will be able to create conditions for their employees and visitors, work more productively, continuing their extremely important and valuable activities’’, – he said, thanking all participants of the project.

The choice of regions which have received support in the first phase of the program is conditioned by the geography of “My Armenia” program, the initiative will be of a continuing nature.

Source: https://escs.am/am/news/7025?fbclid=IwAR2rqM0-6dm6I7Tu0goeT_g3VjrmUTWBjrEFaxER5sWPM1Qowunp9uoLhD8

A Study of the Toponyms of the Kingdom of Bia/Urarṭu

SERIE ORIENTALE ROMA n.s. 19

(Scienze e Lettere 2020)

by Roberto Dan

This volume by Roberto Dan is the second he has written in the Serie Orientale Roma N.S. The first study (From the Armenian Highland to Iran A Study on the Relations between the Kingdom of Urartu and the Achaemenid Empire, S.O.R. 4, 2015) focused on a systematic analysis of complex matters such as the “direct” and “indirect” relations between the state of Urartu and the Achaemenid Empire, with a special focus on the so-called “Median transition,” a work that was aimed at historians, archaeologists and art historians. This second volume is devoted to a study of Urartian toponomastics based on the publication of the Corpus dei Testi Urartei by Mirjo Salvini (five volumes, 2008-2018). It is jointly published by ISMEO and the Dipartimento di scienze umanistiche, della comunicazione e del turismo of the Tuscia University, Viterbo. Part of the research has been conducted within the framework of a Research Fellows Program (“Urartu and the Achaemenids: archaeological and textual comparisons”) at DISUCOM, Tuscia University, PRIN Project “Territorio, ideologia, società: il continuum culturale in Iran dalla tarda età del ferro allo stato achemenide (ricerche archeologiche ed epigrafiche),” directed by Prof. Ela Filippone (2015RMKAFR_002). In the volume, Roberto Dan has addressed the study of Urartian toponyms in a complete way for the first time since 1985, the year in which Nikolay Harutjunjan published his fundamental (now of course somewhat dated) monograph on this topic. The publication of this important work, which certainly constitutes considerable progress in Urartian studies, testifies to ISMEO’s commitment to become heir and developer of the “Urar?u Project” started years ago by Mirjo Salvini that has produced fundamental contributions to the discipline. This commitment is manifested not only by scientific publications in the field, but above all by the three archaeological projects carried out in coollaboration with local scholars and institutions by R. Dan in the Southern Caucasus, Armenia (Kotayk Survey Project, Vayots Dzor Project) and Georgia (Samtskhe-Javakheti Project), that in 2018 saw the creation of a single label under which all these activities related to the same cultural area are grouped, the Archaeological Mission to South Caucasus – ISMEO (AMSC – ISMEO). This incessant field activity is reflected in the pages of this work, in the depth that can be offered by a scholar familiar not only with I parte – intro + preface LoghiLinea_Layout 1 14/07/2020 09:13 Pagina VII the archaeology, history and history of art, but also with the philology of Urar?u and Assyria. The book is divided into a series of sections whose main part is dedicated to the detailed analysis of every single toponym known in the Urartian documentation. These toponyms, considerably more numerous than in previous publications, have been subdivided on the basis of the determinative that precedes the name into categories such as rivers, mountains, countries, tribes and towns. A series of useful appendices enrich the volume, including the first systematic comparison between Urartian and Assyrian toponyms, a summary of the places that can be identified with modern locations, all the known geographical coordinates of inscriptions and the reconstruction, where possible, of the places of origin of erratic inscriptions. To conclude, this work is a welcome addition not only for those directly interested in the civilization of Urar?u, but for all scholars involved in the study of Assyria and the other actors in the complex political  scenario that characterized the 1st millennium BC in Mesopotamia and in the mountainous lands located south of the Greater Caucasus chain.

ADRIANO V. ROSSI

President of ISMEO

CONTENTS

Foreword by Adriano V. Rossi

Preface by Gernot Wilhelm

Acknowledgements

Marie-Claude Trémouille, The Geography of the Kingdom of Bia/Urartu

INTRODUCTION .

URARTIAN TOPONYMS

Rivers (ÍD)

“Lands,” “Mountains” (KUR) Fragmentary and Acephalous

“Lands,” “Mountains” (KUR)

“Tribes” (M) Fragmentary

“Tribes” (M) and Cities with Royal Names

MUNUS

“Towns” (URU) Fragmentary

“Towns” (URU)

Theophore Toponyms (DINGIR)

Toponyms Without Determinatives

APPENDIXES

1. Chronological Table with Synchronisms between Assyrian and Urartian Kings

2. Urartian Toponyms Identified with Modern Places

3. List of Urartian Toponyms with a Certain or Possible Correspondence with Assyrian Toponyms

4. Locations of Urartian Inscriptions

5. Reconstruction of the Original Locations of Erratic Urartian Inscriptions and General List of Cited Toponyms

PLATES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

List of General Abbreviations

List of Bibliographical Abbreviations

Bibliography

Source: http://www.scienzeelettere.it/book/50187.html?fbclid=IwAR1DLeE6Sda7Sg7jIPpMrsDB17wl6xU1wnCJ8xsxnhpOMnZ_f30r1iky29k