Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   21 July

Intellectuals concerned over project to build places of entertainment and casino in Tsitsernakaberd

YEREVAN, AUGUST 18, ARMENPRESS. Intellectuals are mainly concerned over the possibility of building a casino in the vicinity of the Armenian Genocide memorial complex as a result of the sale of the complex. “Armenpress” reports that the director of “Armproject” institute, Grigir Azizyan, expressed concern that the casinos once pulled out of the city by the government decision can again return to Yerevan. “Our government is not able to preserve the Sports and Concerts Complex. It must be privatized. That is why we welcomed the privatization of the complex by a serious company. But now, a hasty decision has been submitted to us where we all see incomprehensible phenomena: A company without background whose future is unknown. Here a question arises. Who do we give that construction?” mentioned Grigor Azizyan, who is one of the co-authors of the Sports and Concerts Complex and was a recipient of the USSR State Prize in 1987.

The President of the the Union of Architects of Armenia, Mkrtich Minasyan, underlined that the area of the complex must remain untouched. “We examined the area of the Sports and Concerts Complex with my colleagues, including the forest zone, which is a protective zone. There is no area there convenient for building hotels or other large buildings. The planned huge constructions, which differ from the complex by nature, are not realistic. The area of the Sports and Concerts Complex, which has to preserve its functions, and the Tsitsernakaberd memorial are untouchable. They remain one of our national values”, the architect added.

According to sculptor Ferdinand Arakelyan, if the Sports and Concerts Complex was built in another place, transforming it into an entertainment area might be acceptable, but it is inadmissible to do that in the area of the memorial dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

“What does a restaurant, casino or pool mean? They are all for pleasure. Pleasure on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd is equal to immorality”, emphasized the sculptor.

Ethnographer Hranush Kharatyan and Yerevan City Council member Anahit Bakhshyan also expressed similar concerns. Hranush Kharatyan reminded that when years before it was planned to construct a small church in that area, public outcry raised over it, because a church has its logic and this memorial has its own logic.

On August 13 the Government of Armenia approved the bill to alienate  Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex.

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