Europa Nostra celebrates Award laureate and meets with key stakeholders in Armenia

On 2 May, a ceremony was organised at the French Embassy in Yerevan to celebrate the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2023 awarded to the Scientific-Archaeological Studies for the Preservation of Ererouyk in Armenia, a research project led by both French and Armenian experts. The next day, the Awards plaque was officially unveiled in Ererouyk. On this occasion, representatives of Europa Nostra met with key stakeholders from the Armenian authorities and with representatives of civil society. Other important meetings, held in the frame of the European Heritage Hub project, took place in Gyumri. The mission to Armenia concluded on 5 May with a concert of French and Armenian music in Yerevan.

The Scientific-Archaeological Studies for the Preservation of Ererouyk were carried out by the Laboratory of Medieval and Modern Archaeology in the Mediterranean of Aix-en-Provence (LA3M), France, the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, and the Shirak Regional Museum in Gyumri, Armenia, alongside several experts of different nationalities. The research project created new knowledge about the Late Antique/Early Christian period in Ererouyk, through the study of the remains of its 6th-century basilica, ancient mausoleum and cemetery, ancient village and dam.

The ceremony gathered representatives of the scientific teams who worked on the Ererouyk site between 2009 and 2021, as well as representatives of the Armenian authorities, the European Union Delegation, the French Embassy in Armenia, the United States Embassy in Armenia, Europa Nostra and other heritage stakeholders.

Olivier Decottignies, French Ambassador in Armenia, Vassilis Maragos, EU Ambassador in Armenia, Alfred Kocharyan, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia, and Cristina Loglio, Vice-President of Europa Nostra addressed the audience. Our Vice-President recalled how the results of this comprehensive research project raised the visibility of Ererouyk at a European level, contributing to its listing among the 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe in 2016 by Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute. Cristina Loglio also highlighted the cooperation between France and Armenia as crucial for the preservation of Ererouyk for future generations.

The event featured various presentations of the project by Patrick Donabedian on the multidisciplinary research project in Ererouyk, Gaianè Casnati on the basilica restoration project, Nathan Austin of the US Embassy in Armenia on the restoration project, as well as Gohar Hovakimyan on the signposting and valorisation project. This latter is supported by the French Embassy in Armenia, which also funded some of the scientific work and excavations at Ererouyk, as well as the publication of a bilingual French-Armenian book devoted to the site. The event concluded with a short networking reception.

The next day, a delegation of heritage and local stakeholders, together with many students from the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia (NUACA), travelled to Ererouyk for the official unveiling of the Awards plaque in situ.

On this occasion, the representatives of Europa Nostra met with key stakeholders from the Armenian authorities and with representatives of civil society. Discussions were held with Harutyun Vanyan, Head of Department of Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia; Khachik Harutunyan, Director of the Scientific Council of the Research Center of Historical and Cultural Heritage; Vassilis Maragos, EU Ambassador to Armenia; Nathan Austin, Cultural Affairs Officer, and Anahit Khachatryan, Public Engagement Specialist of the US Embassy in Armenia; and Vasken L. Yacoubian, Central Board member of AGBU,an NGO preserving and promoting the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programmes.

During a networking event organised by NUACA, Europa Nostra representatives had the opportunity to learn more about and discuss with organisations from Nagorno-Karabakh that are committed to the protection and promotion of the region’s cultural heritage.

Other important meetings in the frame of the EU-funded European Heritage Hub project took place in Gyumri, where a delegation met with representatives of the Municipality as well as the TUMO Centre for Creative Technologies, which conducted the project “Mapping Gyumri with GIS” selected among the Hub’s local best practices highlighting the contribution of heritage to the green, social and digital transformation.

Last but not least, the mission to Armenia concluded with a concert of French and Armenian music by the renowned violinist Nikolay Madoyan and pianist Nikita Mndoyants, which took place on 5 May at the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall in Yerevan. The concert was organised in the frame of the European Heritage Hub and in cooperation with the French Embassy in Armenia.

Latest articles about Awards

Message by the Executive President and the Secretary General

2024 Winners of Europe’s top heritage awards announced by the European Commission and Europa Nostra

Message by the Executive President and the Secretary General

More Articles +