Noyan Tapan
Se p 22, 2008

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 22, NOYAN TAPAN. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan
on September 19 visited the construction site of the old building
of the the Ancient Manuscripts Institute - Matenadaran after Mesrop

A preliminary sum of 10 million dollars is being allocated by the
Moscow Investment Construction Company headed by Sergei Hambartsumian
for construction of an annex to occupy an area of 12,100 square
meters. S. Hambartsumian stated that the idea of financing the
construction of a new annex of the Matenadaran arose after Serzh
Sargsyan's appeal to businessmen of the Diaspora. The design's
architect is Arthur Meschian, while the idea of building an annex is
not a new one: the first design was developed as long ago as 1987-1988
by Armpromproject Institute at A. Meschian's architectural studio. The
construction began in 1988 but remained incompleted after the 1988
earthquake. In 2007 a new design statement was prepared which became
the continuation of the previous design. By the design, the main
buildling will continue to be the dominant one and the new annex will
not be seen from Mashtots Avenue. In case of constructing a new annex,
the total area of show-rooms will increase four-fold: the main building
currently occupies 3,300 square meters. The design envisages allocating
areas for a book depository, a manuscript house, an archive with its
reading halls, another two reading halls, a virtual Matenadaran hall,
a restoration and modelling unit, a room for researchers, a computer
unit, a 240-seat multifunction auditorium, labs, an Armenology center,
a publishing-house and a printing-house, as well as photographic labs.

According to the director of the Matenadaran Hrachia Tamrazian, the
project is a big charitable program, which is the biggest scientific
and cultural one in recent decades. He said that construction
of the new building will allow to turn the Matenadaran into the
largest center on Armenology and medieval studies of international
importance, which will have modern equipment. "It also solves the
problem of alternation of generations in science, which is the most
urgent problem of Armenology," H. Tamrazian said, adding that the
construction of the new annex will allow to create 150 jobs and
double the scientific staff of the Matenadaran over a year. "Stormy
are fruitful years are awaiting us," he noted.

In response to a reporter's question about whether the project is
ambitious or necessary, Arthur Meschian replied: "Let's go to the book
depository, the maniscript house and the restoration unit and see in
what conditions the employees work, and this will be the answer to
your question. Important work is being done... the number of whose
who prevent it is quite great and organized, while we need helpers
and not impediments."