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“Revolutions can’t be velvet”: A Revolution with no Velvet

This is an axtract from Mr Ashot Bleyan’s diary note for the 10th of February.

February 10, 2019

“My longed for dream is now seen in you and your wonderful Life School. This is God’s Blessing.”

Keeping in my mind the letter-talkwith Vigen Avetis, who was discovered in Florence by sculptor, poet, journalist, writer, teacher and the father of four children Massimo Lippi, we entered Yerevan in the evening. We were coming back from a country study educational trip to Echmiatsin, Ashtarak, Amberd, Aygeshat and Voskehat.

This is the country studies course of our Life School.  We began walking about Echmiatsin from Holy Mother of God Church. I kept my promise to be there. We walked with two well-known artists in Echmiatsin, Harutyun Harutyunyan and Ghazar Mirzoyan. We got to Romanos Melikyan street where in addition to Romanos the following figures of Armenian culture lived: Yeghishe Tadevosyan, Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, Makar Yekmalyan, Gusan Shirin… What a change has taken place for thirty years! The divine music has changed into some noise which is called today’s music. Where have we come to from former Vagharshapat?

I was in the square with Vigen in those days which the newspapers were deliberately calling the “Velvet Revolution“. Revolutions are never velvet. This word is in a way expressive but was pronounced in haste. Those who say so do not like their true destiny and the place of the Holy Land in Armenia. It is important not to revive the old, but to fulfill the fate.

Massimo Lippi

Harutyun and Ghazar were showing me new anti-taste constructions born in the period of revolutions which forced their way by pulling down old constructions. Here is Vagharshapat destroyed by revolutions…. “Can you show me anything worthy which has been built in vagharshapat for the last 30 years?”, I asked.

There are people here who are going to open an exhibition at the Artists’ Home in Yerevan. The elected a new mayor of Echmiatsin months ago, and they have joined us with their plan to have a museum of modern art, and on the other hand…are they going to pull down all the old buildings? Do they begin the pulling down process after all the revolutions? The first revolution was called “National Revival” in 1988, and now in 2018 the revolution was called “Velvet”. Does this pulling down process continue in Yerevan, Echmiatsin, Voskehat? Is this the “velvet” brought by revolution?

The cliffs in Voskehat, which is Marine Mkhitaryan’s birthplace, made the same powerful and unforgetable impression on me as Horbateghi in Yeghegis. However the village school headmistress tried to deviate our attention from those cliffs with her sweet treatments of raisins and dried fruits we couldn’t help admiring them. We walked along the narrow paths on the cliffs on the bank of the River Amberd. …

“I can’t tell you who I am. I am a complete stranger from the “West” but with an Armenian’s heart.”  Now, can you find out whether these words belong to me or Italian Massimo Lippito, or do they  belong to Vigen Avetis, cultural ambassador of Florence to the Educomplex?

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