Artak Ghulyan - favourite architect of Armenia's criminal elites

VirtualAni
VirtualAni

July 29th, 2015, 8:17 pm #1

http://www.lragir.am/index/eng/0/comments/view/34434

And creator of some of the ugliest pastiches ever built, the architectural equivalents of Frankenstein's monster.

https://www.facebook.com/ghulyanarchitecturalstudio

Armenia's Yezidi, however, have dismissed his rubbish design for their temple (evidently not wanting to pay for yet another pastiche Armenian church even with a Lalish-style ribbed conical roof stuck on top of it).

http://www.armradio.am/en/2015/07/23/ne ... n-armenia/
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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

September 11th, 2015, 3:41 pm #2

Some of the Ghulyan stuff is just made to be sent up. For example, imagine the reliefs on this churchhttp://www.ghulyan.com/#!armenian-monas ... mplex/cuz6 (or any of the oligarch-sponsored churches) replaced with reliefs of the assorted criminals who paid for it, complete with their various "attributes".
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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 12th, 2015, 2:43 pm #3

The Tsarukyan family church was there... interesting ... must be the one in their compound overlooking the highway
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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

October 23rd, 2015, 11:10 pm #4

http://www.lragir.am/index/eng/0/comments/view/34434

And creator of some of the ugliest pastiches ever built, the architectural equivalents of Frankenstein's monster.

https://www.facebook.com/ghulyanarchitecturalstudio

Armenia's Yezidi, however, have dismissed his rubbish design for their temple (evidently not wanting to pay for yet another pastiche Armenian church even with a Lalish-style ribbed conical roof stuck on top of it).

http://www.armradio.am/en/2015/07/23/ne ... n-armenia/
This is the first article I have seen that attempts to address this issue in any depth. However, there is still silence on the issue of the massive and irreversible destruction to Armenia's cultural heritage caused by the hundreds of "restorations".

In medieval Armenian churches, donor inscriptions often stress that the donor made their money or obtained the donated resources through honest means, implying that the Armenian Church in those days was concerned about the source of donations. The shamelessly corrupt Armenian Church of today has no such qualms, and the grasping hands of its priests are deep in the pockets of Armenia's most notorious criminals.


Faith and philanthropy? Behind Armenia's church-building boom
Gayane Abrahamyan

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/o ... g-churches


Tycoons have donated millions of dollars to religious construction over the last 15 years, but questions surround the
practice. Eurasianet.org reports


Some multi-millionaire philanthropists fund universities and hospitals, while others opt to fund charities. But in Armenia, the super-rich seem to prefer building churches.

So far, in 2015 alone, some of the country’s most powerful and wealthy public figures have provided significant funds for work on five construction projects across the country.

The Armenian tycoon Gagik Tsarukian, founder of one of the country’s largest political parties has this year paid for work on two churches.

Overall, Tsarukian has been involved in the building or reconstruction of seven churches since 2000, estimated to have cost him tens of millions of dollars.

He’s not alone. The prime minister Hovik Abrahamian, a millionaire businessman in his own right, contributed a church to his south-western constituency, Artashat, where his son Argam is town mayor. French-Armenian philanthropist Sarkis Petoian and Russia-based real-estate magnate Samvel Karapetian have also funded churches.

Since 1999, roughly 250 churches and monasteries have been built or restored, according to the office of Catholicos Karekin II, the spiritual leader of the Armenian Church.


What's behind the boom?

Some observers say that it’s because Christianity plays a central role in Armenian society, since the nation became the first to adopt Christianity as their official religion in 301 AD.

Others have been more critical. Stepan Danielian, a rights advocate and chairperson of the non-profit Co-operation for Democracy has noted the church does not examine the sources of financing for those it consecrates.

The benefactors themselves are also reluctant to discuss the specifics of their donations.

“We have never publicised what kind of financial investment has been made in the sphere of church construction because it has been done purely out of devotion,” said Iveta Tonoian, director of the Gagik Tsarukian Charitable Foundation, the entity that oversees the tycoon’s church construction projects.

Similarly, real estate mogul Samvel Karapetian is unable to put an exact figure on his investment. "I can’t answer exactly; maybe several million [dollars]", he told journalists at his church’s groundbreaking ceremony in April.

Significant tax perks are available to those with the clout to invest in building churches. Armenia’s tax code allows charities to receive a tax exemption for any purchased supplies, financial transfers or work done in building a new church.

Benefactors also don’t pay taxes on the purchase of land where the church will be located and they can take an income tax deduction for charitable donations.

Future running costs are met by the Armenian Apostolic Church, who pay for clergy and maintaining the buildings.

Former prime minister Hrant Bagratian said in parliament this May that these expenses can run into tens of millions of dollars. The church disputes that figure.


Work or worship?

In a country where the official unemployment rate is 21%, the construction of churches has prompted questions about misplaced priorities.

In Nor Hachn, site of a Tsarukian-funded church, Marineh Karapetian, whose husband once worked at the town's shuttered diamond factory, complained that "a plant should have been built, rather than a church."

With a reopened diamond factory “some 500 people would have jobs,” she added. “Wouldn’t we pray more arduously in that case, and praise Tsarukian with more love and gratitude?”

But Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, director of the Office on Ecclesiastical Liturgical Issues at Etchmiadzin, seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church counters that construction of the tycoon-funded churches provides work for Armenian quarries, manual labourers, and artists.

Galstanian also maintains that demand for new churches is real.

"It does not really matter who has commissioned [a new church]," the bishop stressed, "because it is an eternal value and what matters most is how beneficial the new church can be to people, [and] what service it can provide to society."

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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

November 5th, 2015, 11:42 pm #5

http://www.tert.am/en/news/2015/10/30/d ... ch/1830816

A delegation of Armenian officials and clergymen gathered today in Dilijan (Tavush region) for a ceremony of laying the foundation of a city church.


The initiative is a joint effort by the Holy See of St Echmiadzin, the Dilijan City Hall, IDeA (Initiatives for Development of Armenia) Fund and the Dilijan Development Fund. Its donors are Ruben Vardanyan, a Russian-Armenian businessman and philanthropist who is a co-founder of IDeA Fund, and benefactors Gagik Adibekyan, Maxim Atayants and Armen Karapetyan.


The ceremony was led by Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II. Mr Vardanyan and top representatives of the fund, as well as local government officials and different other guests and Dilijan residents were present, the IDeA Fund says in a press release.

The church will be constructed on the right bank of the river Aghstev, not far from a monument eternalizing the memory of World War II victims. The project’s author is Maksim Atayants, a renowned Armenian architect from St Petersburg, Russia.


“IDeA fund implements different development projects in Dilijan, with the church construction being one of them. Maxim Atayants has offered a project with interesting architectural solutions. We are confident that the church will really become a spiritual center for residents of our city,” said Edgar Manukyan, the fund’s acting general director.


The church will have a central dome with two bell-towers on span roofs on its two sides. Its pedestal, which is 4.5 meters high, will have spaces for public use. An arched hall built inside will open to a riverside street. The church’s intended total area is 550 square meters.

The development activities will start in April 2016.
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