Quality principles: from the first drawings to the bulding site

On December 17th, at ROCHEMP office, it has been organized the first public event in the frame of Action C. It consisted in a round table on QUALITY PRINCIPLES: FROM THE FIRST DRAWINGS TO THE BUILDING SITE to which took part all the stakeholders of the Cultural heritage preservation process.  The aim of the meeting was twofold: 1- to present ROCHEMP centre to the Armenian experts working in the field of monuments preservation and 2- to start a discussion/collaboration with them with a focus on the quality principles for the process of monuments preservation and on the price list for preservation works.
The meeting started with a warm welcome speech by the representative of the Embassy of Italy in Armenia, prof. Anna Maria Seca and with a clear presentation of ROCHEMP center structure, main missions and goals by the ROCHEMP director, Ani Avagyan. Then Gaianè Casnati (CSDCA, Europa Nostra, ROCHEMP) introduced the topics for discussion by mentioning the outcomes of the international debate on quality interventions in the field of Cultural Heritage and the difficulties to which the Armenian experts are confronted. The debate was very heated and got much wider than the two proposed topics, touching also the problem of licensing preservation project designers and implementers (constructors and restorers), improving tendering processes, making available materials and technologies, overcoming the obstacles to intergenerational exchange, increasing the offer for technical education (VET) and creating more possibilities for projects implementation and, last but not least, the need of improving and updating the regulation of the sector with an increased consistency between urban and architectural planning.
Mrs. Nune Petrosyan (Deputy director of the Urban Development Committee), Stepan Nalbandyan (Armenian Association of Historical Monument Restoration Architects), Sarhat Petrosyan (Urban Lab), Grigor Nalbandyan (Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, NUACA), Nanar Kalantaryan (Scientific-Research Center of Historical and Cultural Heritage of Armenia), Garegin Knyazyan (head of the Monuments Preservation Department of the Agency for Historical and Cultural Monuments Preservation and Fruition), Ara Vardanyan(Chief architect at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin), Gagik Gyurjyan (head of ICOMOS Armenia), Marina Buniatyan (NUACA), Ara Avetisyan (architect restorer) actively participated to the discussion. It was clear that all the experts of the field share the opinion that the situation of Cultural Heritage Preservation in Armenia is very problematic. They also share the feeling that in Armenia some reforms are need in the sector, they are urgent and apply to different fields like education, intergenerational exchange, laws and regulations, identification of quality standards for design and implementation of the interventions on CH, pricing, safety, etc.
The two objectives set in ROCHEMP Action C have been considered as having crucial importance. All the experts agreed to work together, through further well focused professional discussions, eventually with the coordination of ROCHEMP, to come up with common, concerted proposals to implement systematic reforms. It was agreed that, with the collaboration of local Government and Institutions, ROCHEMP can have a role in bridging at least some of the gaps and boosting the processes of development by setting a platform for discussion and by promoting and coordinating international support (technical and financial).

Gaiane Casnati

Promotion of Armenian Cultural Heritage Knowledge in Europe and the Role of ROCHEMP Project

The first public conference was organized on 17th December of 2019, by Armenian Centre ROCHEMP in the spectacular Frescoes Room of the National Gallery of Armenia. The invited participant thirty people of representative people, teachers, students and some of Armenian principal Institutions in relation with culture and education. The aim of the conference was to explain the purposes and necessities of ROCHEMP Centre and opening a dialogue about the experiences and the ideas, in order to create the international networks among the specialists who are interested in cooperation in Enhancement of Armenian Cultural Heritage.
After greetings and the presentation of the Center about the director, Ani Avakyan, the others made their speeches: Gaianè Casnati (CSCDA – ROCHEMP Centre), Anna Sirinian (University of Bologna, Department of History and Cultures – ROCHEMP Centre), Levon Chookaszian (History and Theory of Armenian Art – Yerevan State University), Erna Manea Shirinyan (Matenadaran – Department of Theology, Yerevan State University), Aram Isabekyan (Dean of Academy of Fine Arts of Yerevan), Sona Baloyan (Matenadaran – International Relations), Khachik Harutyunyan (Senior Researcher, Matenadaran) and Anoush Sargsyan (PhD Student, Matenadaran). The creation of the center received a lot of compliments from the audiences and during the conference, everyone proposed suggestions about diffusion of knowledge of Armenian Cultural Heritage in Europe involving the ROCHEMP Centre. Lenov Chookaszian proposed the participation of the Center in the organization of VII International Symposium of Armenian Art in Armenia on October 2020. The Dr. Khachik Harutyunyan proposed to submit a dossier to obtaining European Heritage Label at Matenadaran for the studying centers of production of Armenian manuscript in Europe, through ROCHEMP. The PhD student of ROCHEMP Center Anush Sargsyan, proposed a collaboration with Europeana project and Google to increase the digitalization of Armenian manuscript. During the discussion, most of the people said that it is important to promote exchanges between teachers, researchers and students of Armenian and European Institutions because of their  experiences, projects and collaborations, like Erasmus programs realized with University of Bologna in the last few years.     

Anna Sirinian