The text of Khachatrian is accompanied by the plans of the main Armenian monuments, with an aim of satisfying the specialists. It is advisable to specify that the majority of the Armenian architecture monuments, those in particular of its golden age (6-7th centuries) are located, fortunately, in the Republic of Armenia (ex-Soviet)…
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During the only year of 1915, thirty approximately main convents of the region of Van and Mouch were of use as targets to the Turkish shells. Centers of culture and national wealth so important as Sourb Karapet and Arakelots Vank (Convent of the Apostles), Varag and Nareg, Saint John and Saint Akhbekir, Karmnavor and Saint Cross, Saint Gregory de Sarnapat and » Tcharahan » Saint Nichan, Saint Thomas and Gomots Vank, the » miraculous Convent » of Artkze and many others were razed or reduced to pitiful ruins.The massacre of the monuments of art continued during three or four years of the genocide and later even. During the years 1915-22, Kevork Mesrop wrote: » more than one thousand churches and apostolic Armenian monasteries were completely razed; 691 other buildings were half destroyed; from all the religious and cultural possessions of the Armenian people, 1727 underwent a complete plunder on behalf of the Turks « . The author then makes a detailed enough inventory by the inheritances of art and of culture – relics, parts of religious silversmith’s trade, fine silverware, priestly clothes, ancient manuscripts, illuminations, prints, books of prayer, frescoes, paintings, sculptures etc. which therefore, were lost or annihilated for ever…. The Saint Nichan of Sebaste church who had nevertheless survived the horrors of 1915-18, is not any more. The Sourp Karapet convent of Caesarea ( Kayseri) had the same fate. The monuments of Van according to Lord Kinross’s testimony, underwent new atrocities only two decades ago. As well in the 1950’s or even closer of us, the magnificent Ensemble of the churches of Khetzkonk (of Ani) was blown up, without any necessity of urbanistic order justifying so barbaric a mesure….Only the most important monuments, too much known and too much estimated by the historians of art and architecture are saved this day, – such as Aghtamar and some churches of Ani, for example, or the church of the Apostles of Kars….It is inadmissible that the international Bodies which purport defenders and propagators of the art and culture – such as the UNESCO for example – still made no tangible initiative in favour of the protection, of the consolidation, of the inventory and of the systematic study of the Armenian monuments of Turkey. It is inconceivable that the archaeological World can suffer, with such a quiet stance, the disappearance of « jewels » of architecture among which the role, in the genesis and the evolution of the Christian art was determining….DASNABEDIAN H.
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