Kurds Vandalizing Aghtamar’s Divabuyn Monastery

Kurds Vandalizing Aghtamar’s Divabuyn Monastery

Anonymous
Anonymous

April 21st, 2011, 8:11 pm #1


Could anyone verify the veracity of the news report below?

Many thanks.




Kurds Vandalizing Divabuyn Monastery Near Aghtamar


19:01, April 14, 2011

By Gayaneh Arakelyan

It appears that a group of Kurds are in the process of demolishing the centuries old Armenian Divabuyn Monastery several kilometers away from the recently restored Holy Cross Church.

When our group from Yerevan visited the site, approximately ten kilometers along the Lake Van shoreline from the island of Aghtamar, we noticed a large pile of dirt next to the church and the Kurds using a flat stone cross as a picnic table. A few tents had been pitched next to one of the walls.

The five Kurds said they were from the town of Gevash and that the local government had sent them to protect the ruined church from treasure seeking Kurds from the village of Hingeghits, now called Inkyoy.

From the fresh dirt piled up nearby and their work clothes, we suspected that they were the real culprits.

We requested that they move the dirt and stones back to where they belong, given that they presented themselves as guardians of the site.

From the smirk on their faces, we realized that our request would go unheeded.

Although the original date of the church is not known, we do know that it was renovated in 1447 by Catholicos Zakarya 3rd of Aghtamar.

To the south of the church, which was operational up until the Hamidian massacres of 1894-1896, there is a cemetery with stone crosses dating to the 13th century.

It would be a stretch to believe that the local authorities are not aware of the vandalism taking place close to Aghtamar Island.



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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

April 23rd, 2011, 4:21 pm #2

http://www.hetq.am/eng/news/276/Kurds_V ... g_Aghtamar See my comment there.

If they were really from Inkoy, as the article's writer suggests, then why were they camping at the site and not just staying at Inkoy?
It is likely that they were from Gevas, but were there to indulge in the Kurdish national pastime of digging up Armenian sites. I doubt the Inkoy peasants will put up with their presence once they know what they are up to - Kurds jealously guard their local treasure digging rights, which is why they are always suspicious and sometimes hostile and obstructive to visitors seeking out abandoned Armenian churches.
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