October 13th, marked the launch of “Armeniaca” program - a database dedicated to the Armenian monumental heritage. The official opening ceremony took place at Yerevan’s “TUMO” Center for Creative Technologies with the participation of RA Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosyan, Chairman of AGBU Europe Alexis Govciyan, AGBU Central Board members Vasken Yacoubian and Yervant Zorian, Curator of AGBU Nubarian Library of Paris and Armeniaca Project Coordinator Raymond Kevorkian, AGBU Armenian Representation Director Ashot Ghazarian, other officials and guests. The Armeniaca program is co-funded by the European Union’s “Culture 2007-2013” program, coordinated by the AGBU (France), co-organized by the Centro Studi e Documentazione della Cultura Armena (Italy) and Inside Europe (Belgium), in partnership with Research on Armenian Architecture (Armenia). The main objective of this program is to create a synergy between teams working on monumental heritage, linking old and new collections, as well as Armenian and European researchers of all generations. An opening speech was made by Raymond Kevorkian, followed by presentations by Gayanè Casnati (CSDCA), Hovik Kizoghyan (DigiLib, Armenia), and Samvel Karapetyan (RAA). The official section concluded by a congratulatory message by RA Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosyan. “Armeniaca” program lays a solid foundation for international cooperation, which will, in time, fill the gap of knowledge of architectural heritage by expanding its geographical scope to areas, which have yet to be studied. The organizers have focused on the following directions: • Contribute to the exchange of knowledge, raise public awareness and develop respect towards cultural property, as well as make it accessible to the public • Create a synergy between teams working on preservation of Armenian monumental heritage, linking old and new collections, as well as Armenian and European researchers of all generations • Guarantee the preservation of Armenian and European cultural archives The database developed by Hovik Kizoghyan (DigiLib, Yerevan) in Java, was specifically designed to be compatible with other systems. It’s prospects are promising and it can interface with other programs in the future. It includes the collections of Michel and Nicole Thierry, Patrick Donabedian, Raymond and Souren Kevorkian, Research on Armenian Architecture, specifically those of Armen Hakhnazarian and director Samvel Karapetyan, as well as the Centro Studi e Documentazione della Cultura Armena founded in 1974 by prof. Alpago Novello, currently headed by Gaianè Casnati. As of October 2011, the database includes approximately 250,000 digitized documents. This project was launched at a symposium dedicated to the memory of Armen Hakhnazarian – a man who dedicated his life to the preservation of Armenian heritage. The official launch of “Armeniaca” in Yerevan continued the following day with an exhibition at Hovaness Toumanian Museum devoted to the pioneers of the study of Armenian architecture organized by Gaianè Casnati. It opened in Yerevan and will then tour around European. A scientific council, chaired by Patrick Donabedian, was created to sustain and facilitate the development and future directions of “Armeniaca”.



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