Roza Hovhannisyan, Reporter
Law - Tuesday, 29 April 2014, 17:47

The project of the Old Yerevan neighborhood between Aram and Buzand
Streets has not been brought into being for years while people continue
to live in the half-ruined area in total uncertainty. The point is
that the residents of this area were informed about ten years ago that
their houses were going to be demolished, and instead the historical
and cultural monuments of different neighborhoods of Yerevan would
be brought and assembled in the places of their houses.

However, the City Hall of Yerevan which initiated the Old Yerevan
project cannot achieve a solution.

The residents of the area who avoid speaking in front of the video
camera confessing that they are afraid and do not believe anybody
told that they were told by the City Hall that 2015 is the
deadline of demolition of their apartments.

"Very little time is left till 2015, and we don't know what to do,
the City Hall does not give us a clear answer," people say. And we
have a reason to worry because they witnessed how their neighbors
were evicted from their houses. Living in half-ruined houses, the
residents can neither sell, nor renovate their houses. Banks do not
accept their houses as collateral for loans. They say they are the
hostages of the state.

The chairman of Victims of Eminent Domain NGO Sedrak Baghdasaryan
told that the government violates the right to property of
people living in this area. At the same time, the government fails
to resolve the issue of preservation of monuments. Furthermore, in
the middle of Aram and Buzand Streets some historical buildings are
half-ruined and abandoned.

Sedrak Baghdasaryan says the government does not bring this project
into being due to financial problems whereas private investors do
not want to get involved because they do not expect to get any profit.

Since the City Hall always makes statements on this project every
now and then, the chairman of Victims of Eminent Domain NGO Sedrak
Baghdasaryan calls Mayor Taron Margaryan not to waste the city budget
and make allocations for monuments that need preservation in the
first place.

In 2004 the government approved the list of historical and cultural
monuments. The list includes the old buildings located between
Buzand and Aram Streets which are ruined. In 2008 Armenia ratified
the European convention on architectural monuments which prohibits
transportation of a historical and cultural monument.

"According to the convention, a monument can be moved to another place
in exceptional cases, if a disaster is expected that may destroy
it, i.e. except cases when it is moved for the purpose of saving
it. In 2010 when the convention was in effect, the famous building of
Vagharshak and Hakob Babakhanyans at 26 Buzand Street was demolished
which was built in the early 20th century and was allegedly protected
by the state," Sedrak Baghdasaryan says.

According to him, 29 historical and cultural monuments were destroyed
while building North Avenue. The question where they are now has not
been answered. The relevant bodies avoid giving a written answer to
this question.

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From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress