Mkrtich Minasyan, head of Armenia’s Union of Architects, told reporters today that he held out no hope that Yerevan’s landmark “Pak Shouka” could be saved.
Arguing that opponents of the construction now taking place had exhausted all avenues of protest, an exhausted Minasyan said that they had even petitioned the president of Armenia, but to no avail.
Minasyan noted that it was futile to petition this or that government agency because the government is tacitly supporting what is happening to the Pak Shouka.
“We are transforming a unique landmark, designed by a top-level architect, into a common store that could have built in a hundred other spots,” Minasyan said.
He added that while the government takes the pledges of the new owner to restore the market to its original condition at face value, the people of Yerevan realize that their city has lost yet another exceptional cultural asset.
Karo Ayvazyan, Chief of the Ministry of Culture’s Agency for the Preservation of Historical-Cultural Monuments, said that it has done all it can to halt the illegal construction but that its hands are tied.
“We have exhausted our legal powers in the matter. Sadly, the unlawful construction has started up again,” Ayvazyan said.