YEREVAN (Armenpress) — Gyumri’s National Park-Museum of Sculpture expressed concern over Tigran Honents Church of Ani stating that the policy of Turkey about the falsification of historical facts and incomplete reconstruction of the mentioned church thrusts a wedge into the culture and friendship of neighboring countries. In order to combat distortion of history change.org website started a petition.
The organization called on the Turkish Ministry of Culture, UNESCO, UN and the European Heritage Convention Committee to get focused on such policy of Turkey.
In its call the organization writes:
“Being historically Armenian capital and residence for various nations, Ani remains an Armenian landscape, which is documented in historical information and our present lithography. The 17 frescoes of the church contain images that depict the torments of the first patriarch and the founder of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Gregory the Illuminator, that are the vivid proves of the church’s national and religious belonging. Announcing that Ani is a historic area of cultural diversity, Turkey deviates the international community from our main demands; and thus creates an environment of cancelling them. But we are particularly concerned by the fact, that while being reconstructed, the church has been proclaimed as Chalcedonic and thus this is escalating disputes and conflicts in Georgian – Armenian age-old friendship. We demand from the Turkish responsible institutions of the sector that they:
-avoid proclamations about the historical belongings of the church
-add “Armenian Christian church” name into the sign put nearby the church
-finish and not to abridge the church dome construction and announce the process and objectives for further work.
-avoid escalating cultural conflicts between Armenia and Georgia. The issue has received wide public attention because of the sign installed nearby the church that presents the church as Georgian Chalcedonic.
We are confident that our Georgian brothers have a friendly approach to this issue and are ready for reinstating historic justice that can be reached through professional and public debate and dialogue. We live in a region where any problem can be solved through dialogue if we just face them.”