Thursday, 20 September

Minister of Culture Poghosyan: Passing the Buck on the “Pak Shouka”



Walk past the Pak Shouka in downtown Yerevan and you wouldn’t think it was once a shining example of Soviet Armenian architecture that proudly stood for several decades. 

The new owners have literally stripped it to the bare bones, leaving nothing of its past cultural legacy. 

And it would seem that Armenia’s Minister of Culture, Hasmik Poghosyan, hasn’t a clue as to what’s taking place at the construction site on Mashtots Avenue. 

According to a lragir.am news article, Poghosyan professed her amazement when told that construction on the market’s roof had recommenced in earnest two days ago. 

In ungrammatical literary eastern Armenian she said, “Nah, that’s probably what was left over form last December.” 

Even more amazing is that there is no overall architectural plan for the market that has been authorized. Neither is there a general work permit. Hetq requested that the Yerevan Municipality provide us with those documents if they exist. 

The only thing they gave was a blueprint for some underground floors. That’s to say that the new owner, MP Samvel Aleksanyan, hasn’t been granted any official construction authorization for anything above ground level. 


But work on the market’s interior and roof has been going on for quite some time. A new floor has been added on which a new roof is slowly rising. 

In the midst of it all, the Yerevan Municipality and the Ministry of Culture are passing the buck as to who exactly is responsible. The Municipality argues that the building is a cultural landmark, and thus falls within the purview of the ministry, while the ministry says it has taken the matter to the Municipality and the Ministry of Urban Construction. 

In a letter dated April 23, the Ministry of Culture informed Hetq that due to measures taken by the Yerevan Municipality, the illegal construction to the top level of the market has been halted and that it had demanded that the new owners, Yerevan #1 Market Ltd., draft a blueprint to restore and strengthen the outer walls of the market. 

The Ministry also claims that it has demanded that the former interior arches of the market be restored.

In essence, the ministry didn’t lift a finger to prevent the destruction of the arches or the addition of a new floor. So now the ministry is back-tracking. 

In reality, Minister Poghosyan knows full well what is taking place at the market.

I’ll go further and accuse the minister of entering into an illicit agreement with the market owner that will allow for the landmark’s quick destruction. 

As for Armenia’s law enforcement agencies, they appear willing to turn a blind eye to the ample evidence that such an agreement exists.

Further defilement of the market and a restoration of its former landmark appearance demands political will at the highest level; at a special session of the ruling Republican Party.

But this will not happen. 

The reason is simple - those who have forged such an illicit agreement are the very representatives of that very party.

This photo was taken in March
This photo was taken this month

Top Photo: Pak Shouka owner MP Samvel Aleksanyan, Minister of Culture Hasmik Poghosyan and Deputy Culture Minister Arev Samuelyan at last year’s Republican Party congress.


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Comments (5)
1. Fructus Armenicus!08:40 - 11 May, 2013
Հասնել իր ուզածին ցանկացած ճանապարհով՝ "տակից," "կողքահան", առնետավարի, ինքն իրեն ու դիմացինին էշի տեղ դնելով, սողալով, կաշառելով, հայտնի տեղեր լիզելով, մի խոսքով, մաքուր հայկական ֆենոմեն՝ կամ իսկական Fructus Armenicus (ծիրանի հետ չխառնել): Ահա մեր անմահ դժբախտության պատճառներից մեկը: Այ լֆիկ, հլա մի մոմենտ մտածիր՝ քեզ էդ պետք ա? Այսինքն հասցնելու էս ուտես? Կամ էլ էդքանը ոնց էս մարսելու?
2. andrey10:32 - 11 May, 2013
Զզվում եմ էս լֆիկից էլ, էս հասմիկից էլ ու բոլոր էս իշխանավորներից: Ատում եմ ու ամեն օր անիծում: Ու չփորձեք չտեղադրել գրածս: Էն ինչ որ անում են մեր երկրի հետ ու էս դեպքում փակ շուկայի հետ, որը միշտ հպարտությամբ եմ ցույց տվել դրսից եկած իմ հյուրերին, շատ ավելի ծանր հանցանք է իմ ու իմ նման քաղաքացիների հանդեպ, քան թե իմ զզվանքը իրենց հանդեպ: Եթե իրենց թույլ է տրված նման վանդալիզմ իմ երկրի հանդեպ, ուրեմն ես էլ գոնե իրավունք ունեմ զզվել ու նողկալ էս մարդանման կենդանիներից: Ակտիվ շինարարություն է գնում ու ոչ ոք տեղյակ չի: Դե գնացեք ու ձեր հարազատներին էշի տեղ դրեք: Իրենք դրան լիովին արժանի են, ոչ թե մենք, հայ հասարակությունը, որի հետ դուք ոչ մի կենսաբանական ու այլ առնչություններ չունեք
3. Tlkatintsi08:42 - 12 May, 2013
No public hearings and no input from civil society....The government just ups and gives this landmark to Aleksanyan to do as he pleases. The Yerevan Municipal Council is a joke and so is Minister Poghosyan. They are powerless. All decisions, from the most mundane to foreign affairs, emanate from 26 Baghramyan Avenue (the presidential office). This is greed and boorishness gone wild. The Yerevan Council is full of individuals which lack any vision and the will to push through reform and a new way of thinking. Government has been stripped from the people and seized by a handful of neanderthals with only profit on their mind. The citizen be damned.
4. Aram21:40 - 12 May, 2013
Is the Armenian "landscape" experiencing evolution or it is developing an eruption? Could they be occurring simultaneously?
5. mah,ouzian00:40 - 14 May, 2013
hasmig pogossian a minister .a bird that what she is.
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