A Unique Site with Great Challenges: Historic Preservation Projects of Prominent Structures in the Medieval Armenian City of Ani
Presented at the “Monuments and Memory: Material Culture and the Aftermaths of Histories of Mass Violence" Symposium, Columbia University, New York, NY.
Once a lively metropolis with “1001 churches” and over 100,000 inhabitants, Ani emerged at the crossroads of caravan trade in the middle ages. Despite all the challenges it had to endure after its abandonment in 1239 with the Mongolian invasion; from earthquakes to lightings, from exposure to elements to the years of neglect; Ani has survived and seems to have challenged back with its undisputed architectural and engineering masterpieces.
Following its re-discovery through the first scientific research and excavations by Nikolai Marr and his team between 1892 and 1917, Ani has been declared a military zone by the Turkish authorities for a long time with limited excavations and research. In 2006, The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism resumed control of the site and initiated a comprehensive preservation program under the leadership of the Advisory Board of Ani together with experts from the Special Projects Unit of the Ministry.
In my presentation, while mentioning historic preservation projects of some of the surviving structures by our office (PROMET) since 2006, I will particularly focus on the projects of two outstanding monuments, Surp Amenap’rkich Church and the Cathedral of Ani, which are being realized through partnership between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and World Monuments Fund since 2011. And I will conclude my presentation by briefly talking about the recent research and collaborations in both Ani and the larger context.