Georgian authorities banned Armenian expert in monuments Samvel Karapetyan’s entry to Georgia
ARMENIA, DECEMBER 16, ARMENPRESS. Famous Armenian expert in monuments, historian and chairman of the Yerevan office of Foundation for Research on Armenian Architecture Samvel Karapetyan has appeared in the list of undesirable persons in Georgia. On October 18, his entry was banned at a checkpoint of Sadakhlo. “Armenpress” reports in an interview with journalists Samvel Karapetyan said that he had never broken the laws of Georgia, and that he is confident the ban is connected with his professional activities.
It is already many years that the expert examines the Armenian monuments in the neighboring country which have been destroyed, usurped or have appeared in a poor condition. In order to gather the details, he organized a 10-day expedition to Georgia which did not take place because of the mentioned prohibition on entry. “Our entire group passed the border and I was the last one. I encountered problems crossing the Georgian border back in 2011; I was always detained at the checkpoint for 10-15 minutes. This time I was held for 35 minutes, and then an officer told me that I was banned to enter”, Karapetyan said.
Receiving no explanation for the ban, Samvel Karapetyan wrote to Ambassador of Georgia to Armenia Tengiz Sharmanashvili, Minister of Culture of Armenia Hasmik Poghosyan, but has not yet received a response.
Back in 1995 Samvel Karapetyan published a brochure in which he enlisted 650 Armenian churches with the description of their condition and exact indication of the addresses.
According to Karapetyan, the process of appropriation and destruction of monuments of Armenian architecture in Georgia is organized at a state level, as the construction of the Cathedral on the site of the Armenian cemetery in Khojivank began with the blessing of then-Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.