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Criminal case initiated on burial at area of “Sanahin” Monastery sent to court and motion submitted to provide proper protection of monuments of particular value

15.03.2018 17:43

In the result of comprehensive investigation conducted in the framework of the criminal case investigated in Lori Regional Investigative Department of the RA Investigative Committee on damage of monuments of history and culture, outrageous treatment of burial places located at the area of «Sanahin» Monastery the person having committed the alleged crime was identified, the conditions contributing to them were found.

On the base of investigation results charge was pressed against one person and the criminal case was sent to court. Besides, a motion was submitted to the RA state bodies to take measures to exclude the implementation of illegal land and construction work in protection zones of monuments of history and culture.

Thus, on July 18, 2017 an article was published in the press informing that «the gravestone in the church yard in Sanahin was destroyed and a new burial was carried out».

Considering that the circumstances mentioned in the article allegedly contain crime elements a criminal case was initiated according to the Part 1 of the Article 264 and the Part 1 of the Article 265 of RA Criminal Code preliminary investigation of which was conducted in Lori Regional Investigative Department of the RA Investigative Committee.

In the result of necessary investigatory and other procedural actions it was grounded that at the area under special protection of «Sanahin» Monastery an illegal burial had been carried out, the person having committed the alleged crime was identified; he is a resident of Alaverdi town.

Particularly, through preliminary investigation actual data were obtained on the allegation that in June, 2017 Gagik Veranyan buried his father at the area of «Sanahin» Monastery on the way to mausoleum-chapel of lords Zakaryan included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. After some days of burial he illegally built a grave in the same place in the result of which the above-mentioned monument of history and culture of particular value was damaged. Besides, the historical environment was disrupted, the monument, as well as its artistic perception was devalued.  

On the base of the obtained evidence charge was pressed against G. Veranyan according to the Part 1 of the Article 264 of RA Criminal Code, preliminary investigation of the criminal case on his part was completed and on March 7, 2018 was sent to court with the bill of indictment.

Examination of the criminal cases investigated in Lori Regional Investigative Department of the RA Investigative Committee show that illegal burials and construction of new graves continue at the area of monuments of history and culture located in Lori region. Actual data were obtained that provision of lands for burials and construction of graves is not properly regulated. As a result, in some cases the residents of the community choose the burial places themselves and build graves illegally.   

Besides, it was found out that there are not any posters or signs banning burials and construction of new graves around the graves located at the area of monument of history or near it.

Presenting the recorded offences in details on March 13 a motion was sent to the RA Ministry of Culture, to the Governor of Lori region, to the leader of Gugarats Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church by Lori Regional Investigative Department offering to take active measures to exclude implementation of illegal land and constructional work, including construction of new graves in protection zones of monuments of history and culture located at the area of Lori region. The copy of the motion was also sent to Secretary General of Armenian National Commission for UNESCO.


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