Tuesday, January 30, 2007


YEREVAN, JANUARY 26, NOYAN TAPAN. A group of famous Armenian intellectuals expressed their anxiety in an open letter addressed to the RA President, Prime Minister and National Assembly Speaker on the occasion of the exhibition dedicated to the Armenian Christian art to open in the Louvre museum within the framework of the Year of Armenia being held in France. It is envisaged to exhibit in Louvre ancient illustrated parchment manuscripts, Etchmiadzin Avetaran (Gospel) of 989, Margare painter, Kirakos miniature painter and Toros Roslin, correspondingly the Gospels and other manuscripts germinated in 1211, 1249 and 1267-1268, being kept in the Yerevan M.Mashtots Matenadaran (Armenian repository of ancient manuscripts.

In the intellectuals' opinion, transportation of these manuscript exclusive volumes to France at the same time, especially by air, is fraught with irretrievable and calamitous consequences. They mentioned that one must not forget how a number of paintings of world-famous paiter of the Armenian origin Arshile Gorky were abolished during a plane crash years ago, and how Martiros Sarian's early period canvases were burnt in France during the fire on a ship.

According to the letter authors, these manuscripts envisaged for being exhibited in Louvre are just crumbs of our centuries-old history and the further generations will not forgive their loss. "Finally, the letter authors mention, those manuscripts are the treasure of all Armenians and not only of Matenadaran and the Republic of Armenia."

"So we ask you to prohibit transportation of manuscripts to France, especially all together, by air, based on the existing corresponding legislation," the intellectuals mention. And instead of those valuable volumes, the intellectuals propose to exhibit in the Louvre copies of the same manuscripts and miniatures which are exhibited at the National Gallery of Armenia and Matenadaran.

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