Leading Armenian Architect Criticizes Construction Plans at Tsitsernakaberd Memorial
YEREVAN (ARKA)—Building an entertainment complex at Tsitsernakaberd will provoke an overreaction in Armenia society, and in the Diaspora in particular, head of the Union of Architects of Armenia, Mkrtich Minasyan, has said.
“Today the Genocide Memorial at Tsitsernakaberd is a symbol recognizable not only to local Armenians, but [to] Armenian communities worldwide,” Minasyan said. “The construction will cause substantial damage to [the] Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concert Complex and the Genocide Memorial,” Minasyan continued.
“We don’t know where exactly these 9 hectares of land have been allocated for the construction of new infrastructures,” Minasyan said in reference to the hotel, restaurants, and possible casino that have been proposed as additions to the Demirchyan complex.
“When we speak about Tsitsernakaberd, we perceive it is an integral and self-sufficient complex with its buildings and its tree belt, which, I believe, must remain untouched,” Minasyan said.
According to Minasyan, other areas can be found for such an investment project, as there are many idle territories in the city like abandoned factories, where construction could boost development.
“The government should have initiated public and expert discussions before making a decision about sale of the Sports and Concert Complex,” Minasyan said.
The Sports and Concert Complex, named after Karen Demirchyan, was built in 1983 and is considered a masterpiece of late Soviet architecture. In October 2005, the Complex was sold to BAMO Russian construction holding company for $5.7 million. BAMO was contractually obliged to reconstruct the complex. The reconstruction took almost three years and cost about $42 million. However, due to accumulated debts, the complex was handed back to the government.
Earlier this month, reports emerged that the complex was privatized once again, this time to NTAA Investment Group. The complex was sold for $30 million.