ArmInfo.With the agreement of a number of officials, the territory of Amberd fortress in 2013 was withdrawn from the zone of protection of the cultural heritage object. This was announced at a press conference on May 2 by the Deputy Minister of Culture Tigran Galstyan, referring to the construction work-taking place near the protected area of the historical and cultural reserve.
In this connection, as Galstyan explained, the Ministry of Culture appealed to the prosecutor's office to find out why the protection zone of Amberd and its surroundings changed. As Galstyan noted, construction work has now been suspended.
Galstyan assured that a request was sent to the prosecutor's office to clarify the circumstances on which the grounds of the monument were excluded from the protected area. In this regard, they are waiting for clarification from the Research Center for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage.
The deputy minister admitted that at the end of 2018 he was informed about the project for the construction of the facility, but since the territory was in fact not a specially protected area, the ministry did not have the authority to draw any conclusions or give permission for its construction. He only admitted that it seemed to the Ministry very strange why the site adjacent to the monument is outside its zone. At this, the actions of the authorized department were limited, and only after the hype rose in the media and social networks, the Ministry suddenly took certain steps, in addition to the expression of surprise. It turned out that the department still has the authority to apply to the Prosecutor General's Office. To note, the list of officials who signed the agreement to change the fortress's territory includes: the head of scientific expeditions Hakob Simonyan, former deputy minister of culture Arthur Poghosyan, former governor of Aragatsotn region Sargis Sahakyan, head of Orgovi village Araik Manukyan.
<We have the right to prohibit construction work if the historical, cultural layers of the monument are violated, and taking into account the fact that fragments of ceramic utensils and human bones were found in the dug-out area, we can say - there were violations, but we must wait for the decision of the prosecutor's office> - he said, stating that the owner of the privatized territory is a certain Sirak Manukyan, the father of whom is the head of the Aragatsotn regional branch of <The security service of the cultural-historical reserve-museum me and the cultural environment> SNCO Manuk Manukyan.
He previously explained that the plot of 2000 square meters was purchased in 2017 for 8 million drams. Galstyan also noted that it is premature to talk about the existence of corruption schemes and abuse of official powers, stating that the Ministry of Culture does not have the authority to dismiss Manuk Manukyan, urging the public to wait for the reaction of the prosecutor's office. In addition, the Deputy Minister stressed that the construction work does not have a master plan, and a food supply point nearby is not included in the project plan.