Asset 3


End of content No more pages to load

Your search did not match any articles

Hrant Gadarigian

Protestors March to Yerevan’s Pak Shouka; Met by Counter-Demonstration Across the Street

A group of around 100 protestors, all sporting yellow baseball caps, wound their way through downtown Yerevan today, urging passersby to join their march in opposition to the construction taking place at the city’s iconic landmark, the Pak Shouka (Covered Market).

Against a backdrop of seemingly public indifference, the marchers gathered on the sidewalk opposite the market where construction was continuing in earnest.

As if on cue, a larger group had assembled directly in front of the market in support of the construction being undertaken by MP Samuel Aleksanyan, the new owner of the building.

It seems that the police had learnt a lesson from the last demonstration for and against the construction when the opposing sides met head on and scuffled.

Both sides waved the Armenian tricolor and snapped photos of the opposition.

I have to confess that those in favor, many of whom it is alleged have been “paid-off” by the new owner, were the most vocal and hoisted large banners calling the anti-construction protestors “Paid Foreign Spies” and “Grant Eaters”.

It would appear that Aleksanyan has chosen a strategy of making it appear that just as many citizens favor what he is doing as those opposed.

One anti-construction protestor I spoke to commented that it was ironic that Turkey is rehabilitating Armenian cultural landmarks while they are being destroyed in Armenia.

He added that while Turkey has realized the advantages of such rehabilitation, even if just to attract more tourist dollars to the eastern regions, Armenia is bent on turning its landmarks into crass commercial sites.

MP Aleksanyan owns the Yerevan City supermarket chain and it is feared that the market will become one as well.

Despite the fact that several state agencies, including the Ministry of Culture, have publicly stated that the changes being made to the market violate landmark norms, it seems that no one in government is able or willing to halt the construction and to commission a panel of experts to appraise what is being done.

Yesterday a group of noted Armenian architects held a press conference and labeled the construction a desecration of the 1950s landmark.

It seems that their protestations have fallen on deaf ears.

Write a comment

Hetq does not publish comments containing offensive language or personal attacks. Please criticize content, not people. And please use "real" names, not monikers. Thanks again for following Hetq.
If you found a typo you can notify us by selecting the text area and pressing CTRL+Enter