Tag Archives: heritage

On 24 September the EU Delegation to Armenia together with the Armenian Ministry of Culture, launched European Heritage Days in Armenia with a press conference and cultural programme at the Metsamor Historical-Archeological Museum. This year’s programme was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence. The Days passed under the motto “Heritage and Communities”. The choice of Metsamor was symbolic as, since 2013, a joint Polish-Armenian archaeological project has uncovered a plethora of Bronze Age and Iron Age artifacts in that location. “Armenia’s active participation in _mg_0323European Heritage Days carries special significance, because Armenia is one of the cradles of European culture and civilisation. For centuries and millennia Armenia has been a gate to Europe through which different influences and cultures have entered. Armenians can be very proud of their heritage and their cultural contribution to the common identity of Europe. We, as the EU, would like to work together with the Armenian government and Armenian people to strengthen and develop the cultural links between Armenia and the European family”- said in his opening speech Ambassador Piotr Świtalski.
During the two European Heritage Days over 100 governmental and private museums, libraries, cultural organisations hosted events and opened their doors to the public free of charge – even monuments usually closed to the public had open-door days. Numerous exhibitions, concert, meetings, literary seminars and musicals were organised for the citizens and guests of Armenia.
“Armenian cultural heritage belongs of that of Europe; this is not only in our hearts and minds, but also expressed through our ratification of the 1954 European Cultural Convention” comments the Armenian Deputy Minister of Culture, Arev Samuelyan.

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On 7 November partner companies from Armenia, Georgia, Turkey and Greece announced the official opening of the Black Sea Silk Road Corridor. This corridor is a 3,000 kilometre-long tourist trail that stretches from Thessalonica to Meghri. The project is being carried out by the Armenian Monuments Awareness Project (AMAP) human development NGO, with financial support from the EU’s Black Sea basin programme. Activities in Armenia are also co-funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). An exhibition of regional and local crafts, foods and traditional music was held during the launch event, which presented all the countries involved in the project.

Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia Traian Hristea expressed his excitement about the overall project and its achievements: ‘This project proves that the EU supports the regional development of the corridor and the cooperation of countries surrounding the Black Sea. Such cooperation is an integral part of the European Neighbourhood Policy, which aims to bring countries closer, stimulate social and economical development, address common challenges, and promote people-to-people contact’.

The Deputy Minister of Culture, Arev Samuelyan, highlighted the importance of the project as it fosters cultural and educational development of the corridor and the role of AMAP NGO: ‘Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and AMAP has resulted in numerous benefits for cultural development. In recent years AMAP has installed multilingual information screens in venues of cultural and historical heritage. Since 2008, over 400 information screens and 352 direction signs have been installed at 173 monuments’. She added that, on 25 April 2013, an agreement on installing information screens was signed between the Ministry of Culture and AMAP. Within the scope of this agreement, AMAP then created mobile applications and screens for hundreds of Armenian monuments.

The “Black Sea Silk Road Corridor” project involves four countries in the Black Sea basin: Armenia, Georgia, Turkey and Greece. The project is aimed at enhancing visitors’ experiences of those sites and monuments, including natural parks, archaeological sites, and cultural monuments that exhibit the artistic genius of former generations. Visitors can intensify that experience through contemporary culture – museums, galleries, theatre, music, local cuisine and a number of different attractions.

10710621_752053211515277_7571311299614096623_nUS Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern noted the project as an important contribution to the development of regional cooperation and culture: ‘When you look at the map of involved countries, you can see that there are more common features than differences between these countries. Additionally, I would like to highlight what wonderful sights I have seen in Armenia and how glad I am that the applications developed will make them available to visitors from all over the globe(http://www.blackseasilkroad.com/en/)’.

There are plans to extend the project to reach Italy on the West and Bulgaria and Romania on the North.
Richard Ney, the President of AMAP, introduced the launch of the “BRIDGES” project, a new USAID-funded tourism initiative that will focus on economic and cross-border development between Armenia and eastern Anatolia. The project will foster the creation of a network of Armenian and Turkish tour operators, the identification and the creation of an inventory of shared touristic experiences, and the promotion of the area as an attractive tourism destination.