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Consultation on issues of criminal-legal protection monuments of historical and cultural value held in RA Investigative Committee (Photos)

08.08.2017 17:40

Consultation on issues of criminal-legal protection of monuments of historical and cultural interest was held today at the RA Investigative Committee which was headed by the RA IC Chairman Aghvan Hovsepyan. Representatives of concerned offices – Minister of the RA Nature Protection Artsvik Minasyan, Director of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography Pavel Avetisyan, Chief of Historical and Cultural Monuments Protection Agency Armen Abroyan, Director of Service for Protection of Historical Environment and Cultural Museum Reservations SNCO of the RA Ministry of Culture Ara Tarverdyan, Director of Scientific-Research Center of Historical and Cultural Heritage Tigran Simonyan and representatives of other offices were invited and took part in the discussion.  

By the instruction of the Chairman of the RA Investigative Committee Aghvan Hovsepyan criminal cases initiated from October 1, 2014 to the first half of 2017 on destroying or damaging monuments of history and culture and swindling particularly valuable items raising the causes of crime and contributing conditions, problems emerged during investigation, legislative omissions.

This sphere is protected by the current RA legislation in the following two directions;

-       swindling particularly valuable items or documents, particularly ones of historical, artistic or cultural interest.

-       Damaging or destroying monuments of history, culture under state protection, as well as the items and documents of historical and cultural particular value.

In the observed period 25 criminal cases were initiated by the subdivisions of the Investigative Committee on damaging monuments of historical and cultural value. More cases were recorded in Aragatsotn region – 8, in Syunik region – 5, in Kotayk – 3, in Shirak, Gegharkunik subdivisions, in the Investigative Division of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative district – 2 criminal cases, in Ararat, Tavush regional investigative departments, in General Department of Investigation of Particularly Important Cases – 1 criminal case.

The results of examination of the criminal cases were presented by the Head of General Department of Control over Activity of Territorial Investigative Departments Tatul Petrosyan stating that sometimes some difficulties arise connected with disclosure of crimes like that, adequate legal assessment of the person's actions. Particularly, areas of historical-cultural value are not clearly separated from other areas of community or public property.

For example, through preliminary investigation of the criminal case investigated in Lori Regional Investigative Department it was found that the citizen buried his father at the area of «Sanahin» Monastery, he delocalized the gravestones of “Zaqaryans” ancestry mausoleum and removed from its previous location by 1.5 meters. Pursuant to the explanation of the monastery priest the newly-built grave was built on ancient remains. The citizen declared that while burying his father he, allegedly, did not know that the area belonged to “Sanahin” Monastry.

The Chairman of the RA Investigative Committee highlighted the separation of historical-cultural areas from neighboring ones, installation of relevant distinctive signs, proper implementation of protection of areas, passports of monuments, items of historical-cultural value. The RA IC Chairman drew competent bodies’ attention to the fact that items of particular historical value, which have no passports, are often obtained, taken away from Armenia and in future their genealogy is not only forgotten but also distorted.  

The participants of the discussion assessed highly the Investigative Committee’s initiative to hold a consultation and presented their views on the areas of historical-cultural value, issues in the sphere of protection of monuments mentioning the necessity of legislation amendment. They also highlighted toughening of punishment envisaged for encroachments on historical-cultural monuments.   

The RA IC Chairman instructed to sum up the results of consultation and present certain proposals implementation of which will allow to raise the efficiency of investigation of similar criminal cases. Besides, relevant reports will be sent to competent bodies to abolish the causes of crime and conditions contributing to it.

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