Protests against dismantling of historical building in downtown Yerevan scare investors, architect says

Protests against dismantling of historical building in downtown Yerevan scare investors, architect says

YEREVAN, June 27. / ARKA /. Protests against the dismantling of a building in downtown Yerevan known as Afrikyan’s Cub by a pressure group scare investors of "Old Yerevan" project hindering its implementation, according to architect Levon Vardanyan, who designed the project. 

The pressure group says the building is a unique late 19th-20th century structure listed among architectural heritage of national importance. Located on Teryan street it belonged to a prominent family of Yerevan-based merchants and manufacturers –the Afrikyans- who owned stores, wine and brandy factories before the establishment of Soviet rule in Armenia.

During one protest members of the pressure group hurled coins at parliament members and government ministers who arrived at the site.

The decision to dismantle the building and relocate it to another site was adopted by the government in 2005. In 2012 the decision was sent to the ministry of culture to get its permission, which was issued only earlier this year.

According to Levon Vardanyan, after the residents of the building moved to their new apartments some people stole its iron-coated rails, windowsills and other items. 

"I contacted the police, they open investigations into these and other cases, but no one is held responsible,’ he said. He added that when the building will be reconstructed at the other site they will have to produce replicas of many stolen items. 

Vardanyan said that the “Old Yerevan" project is scheduled to resume later this year. The project calls for the reconstruction of the  architectural appearance of Yerevan of late XIX - early XX centuries on a small patch of land in the center of the city. The project is being developed by LV Architect. -0-

17:04 27.06.2014

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