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The bureaucratic acrimony has given birth to the question: "Will or won't the "Armenia" mural by Minas be restored?"
The mural is in Vahramaberd village, Shirak region. The well-known artist Minas Avetisyan drew it in 1973 on the wall of the Culture Palace. After the quake in 1988 the building collapsed almost completely, and later the mural, which had a miraculous escape, was put into a protective box. The Minas Foundation has repeatedly raised the issue of the necessity to restore the mural, however, the rural community was against taking the mural out of Vahramaberd. A new House of Culture should have become the new shelter of Minas' work. As a result, the mural was damaged in several parts in the course of construction of the House. In addition, the builders poured concrete on the right side of "Armenia".
Arman Avetisyan, Minas' son and the head of the Minas Foundation, told ArmInfo that though the mural is in a disastrous condition, its restoration has not started yet. Earlier the Minas Foundation, which has been cooperating with Palazzo Spinelli Institute of Art Restoration (Florence), controlled the restoration of the artist's murals. However, all of a sudden, the Agency for Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Armenian Culture Ministry interfered with the issue. Avetisyan says that now the Agency does not allow the Foundation to participate in the restoration of the mural without a relevant license.
"The absurdity of the situation is that there is no license for restoration in Armenia. The matter concerns the license provided for construction and other operations having nothing to do with restoration of murals", said Avetisyan. He added that he had raised this issue during a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Culture of Armenia, however, the meeting gave no results. The situation is even complicated by the fact that the Italian specialists refuse to work with anyone, except the Minas Foundation. Thus, the issue of the mural restoration has reached a deadlock, as the Agency itself has no specialists in art restoration. "The mural "Armenia" suffers from this situation; it needs to be restored urgently", he said.