Hetq’s source inside the Kotayk Regional Office announced yesterday that the Office had informed the Tzaghkadzor Municipality that construction at the Kecharis Monastery had been approved and that Catholicos Garegin II had also given the go-ahead.
Kotayk Regional Governor Kovalenko Shahgaldyan denied that such a note had been sent to Tzaghkadzor. He did confirm that the Office had sent an inquiry to Etchmiadzin as to the position of the Catholicos on the matter.
Shahgaldyan says that Catholicos Garegin II responded that, “We are not opposed to the construction but that the Ministry of Culture has the final say.”
When asked why the Kotayk Office all of a sudden decided to get the official position of Etchmiadzin, Shahgaldyan said, “So that reporters like you stop asking all these questions about the construction.”
The Kotayk Governor says he will now send an inquiry to the ministry to get their official response on the Kecharis construction.
Last week, the ministry’s Monuments Preservation Committee discussed the Kecharis issue and sent the construction blueprint back for redrafting. There was a problem with the lighting and other details.
Governor Shahgaldyan says he’s not aware of the ministry’s move.
“The ministry has to send their answer to us directly. We are the ones that sent the construction plan to the ministry. We are waiting for their final answer,” he said.
Tzaghkadzor Mayor Garun Mirzoyan told Hetq that there isn’t any official approval for construction work at Kecharis.
“It’s not up to the Kotayk Office. It’s the municipality that grants the construction permit, but only after approval from the ministry. We haven’t issued any such work permit,” Mayor Mirzoyan said.
Governor Shahgaldyan added that if the ministry finds that the work done so far is illegal and must be dismantled, he’ll issue a directive to the mayor the very next day.