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 Tuesday, April 2 2024 21:30
Alina Hovhannisyan

Vardan Mkrtchyan: Government`s decision is not subject to discussion

Vardan Mkrtchyan: Government`s decision is not subject to discussion

ArmInfo.The Goy Theater continues to struggle for existence.  Today, the "goyists" gathered  in front of their theater building, demanding to open the front door, which has been locked for several days by the decision of the National Academic Theater named after Gabriel Sundukyan (more recently, according to the decision of the government, the "Goy" theater was reorganized and became part of the National Theater, ed.  note).

The actors of "Goy" demanded a meeting with  director of the National  Theater Vardan Mkrtchyan for clarification, but the conversation with  them was conducted by Deputy Director Hrachya Nersisyan.  The latter  stated that it is possible to enter the Goy Theater only through the  service entrance of the National Theater, having previously filled  out the appropriate questionnaires, which will make it possible to  prepare individual electronic cards that provide entry to the  building. The actors refused to fill out any documents, much less  sign, which, according to them, was tantamount to recognizing  themselves as employees of the National Theater, which they  categorically disagree with, despite the government's decision and  the relevant legal justifications.

Hrachya Nersisyan called on the actors to gather on the Small Stage  of the theater to talk with director Vardan Mkrtchyan, but the actors  demanded that discussions be held in their own hall. They stated that  they consider such actions illegal, because their employment  contracts are valid until April 22 of this year. 

After long negotiations, Nersisyan invited several theater actors,  accompanied by media representatives, to go to the Goy building so  that the latter could make sure that everything was in order and that  no changes had occurred. Indeed, no significant changes were made,  except that CCTV cameras were installed.  As a result, journalists  met with the director of Hamazkayin Theater instead of actors.   Answering the journalists' questions, Vardan Mkrtchyan assured that  the doors of "Goy" were not locked ahead of time, since the employees  were asked three times to hand over the keys to the theater building,  which was not done. "We are talking about a state institution. There  is a government decision, there are documents from the city register,  there is a document from the Real Estate Cadastre," Mkrtchyan said.  He stated that the National Theater did not initiate any processes,  only negotiations led by his deputy Hrachya Nersisyan. "We committed  and tried to move forward constructively. We do what the order of the  National Theater requires. Everyone has equal rights. If I enter the  building with a special card, why should others not?" he asked. In  response to the remark about installing a video surveillance camera,  Mkrtchyan noted that the latter was installed on the landing, which   is a public area.  He emphasized that the government's decision, as  it is known, is not subject to discussion, and asked not to make the  theaters merger a national tragedy, since we are talking about the  reorganization of the institution, and not closure.

The "goyists" assure that the "Sundukyanites" do not have a normal  human attitude towards them, but rather a hostile one. "This is a  director who considers it his life's task to close our theater. And  this man is a student of Sos Sargsyan," the actors complained.

They said that long negotiations were held in the relevant department  (the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports - MESCS),  with which an agreement was reached for "Goy" to become private. The  Ministry allegedly agreed to the meeting, saying that they were ready  to provide support that would allow the theater to "get back on its  feet" after gaining independence. However, it later turned out that  government officials promised help only if they joined the National  Theater.

In addition, representatives of the Goy Theater said that while  negotiations were underway with the Ministry, which, as is already  obvious, were fictitious, they were asked not to make statements, nor  to give press conferences, or to initiate new trials, in short, not  to take any steps. However, during this time, the MESCS applied to  the state register with a statement to terminate the activities of  the Goy Theater. "It turns out that this was just an imitation of  negotiations. They placed a soft pillow under our heads. They  deliberately played for time to illegally stop the activities of our  SNCO. This is a gross violation," said the actors, noting that the  process took place without signing any acts of acceptance and  delivery.

The actors decided to organize an indefinite sit-in picket starting  tomorrow until the doors of the Goy Theater are opened.

Earlier in May 2023, the Armenian government decided to include the  Goy Theatre National Experimental Center of Performing Arts named  after Armen Mazmanyan to the National Academic Theater named after G.  Sundukyan as a unit. The draft justification for this decision stated  that the reorganization of the theater would help concentrate  professional resources and develop the potential of these  organizations, and would also stimulate an increase in financial  resources. The decision is aimed at more effective and targeted use  of the creative potential of the Goy Theater. The theater staff is  challenging this government decision in court.

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