The solemn opening ceremony of ‘Hovhannes Tumanyan’s House’ scientific, cultural center of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Georgia was held on August 5.
The blessing ceremony of the last apartment of great Armenian poet was conducted by His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, vicar of Samtskhe-Javakhk and Tsalka father Ter-Babgen Salbiyan and spiritual shepherd at the Cathedral of Saint George in Tbilisi, priest Ter-Samuel Torosyan.
The Armenian Diocese of Georgia plans to give new impetus to the Tumanyan’s House in Tbilisi in accordance with contemporary standards, hold literary talks, readings, press conferences, discussions on published and unpublished works, create links for ethnography studies and development, cultural ties between the Armenian and Georgian art figures, open AGBU virtual university branch, spiritual, cultural heritage museum of Georgian-Armenians, as well as a library. The Hovhannes Tumanyan Puppet Theater and the Guest House of former President of the Writers’ Union of Armenia, late Levon Ananyan will operate at the center. Within the course of time the ‘Hovhannes Tumanyan’s House’ center will become a platform of cultural dialogue and solidarity for national minorities in Tbilisi and will contribute to boosting the activity of the Armenian community of Georgia.
After the opening ceremony Primate of Tavush Diocese Bishop Bagrat Galstyan read the congratulatory message of Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II where he said the Holy Etchmiadzin was informed with satisfaction about the opening of the ‘Hovhannes Tumanyan’s House’ scientific and cultural center in Tbilisi. “Tumanyan’s name is cherished for our people. He lived his entire life by sadness and happiness of the Armenian people, and fought for the welfare of the Armenian people and the homeland. This house of Hovhannes Tumanyan is a tribute to the memory of the Armenian genius. We are happy that thanks to the efforts of our Armenian sons this historical cradle was saved from alienation and was returned to the Armenian people”, reads the congratulatory message.
Armenia’s Ambassador to Georgia Yuri Vardanyan also addressed congratulatory message expressing deep gratitude to all who had their contribution to the implementation of this important work. “First of all, we should remember former President of the Writers’ Union of Armenia, late Levon Ananyan since this process was launched by his initiative. I want to express my special gratitude to my compatriot, MP Vardan Ghukasyan who was first to respond to the settlement of the issue”, the Ambassador’s message said. According to the Ambassador, the Armenian people’s love and respect to Hovhannes Tumanyan is seen by the title given to him – poet of All Armenians. “The maintenance of even a small part in connection with Tumanyan’s memory is important as a strong factor of Armenian upbringing. That’s why the handing over of his House to the Armenian community is a significant contribution in maintaining the Armenian identity. Our country is greatly interested in maintaining material wealth relating to Armenia’s cultural activity regardless of where they are across the world. However, we have to admit that we haven’t still reached the level of financial strength so that we could implement our all patriotic wishes”.
The congratulatory message of Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobyan highlighted that Tumanyan with his literary and public activity unconditionally served his people and will continue to serve. “Tumanyan’s house has not been called as a place of continuous, constant visits in vain. This house can be considered as house for Armenian-Georgian literary ties, as well as friendship of the two peoples”, the message said.
President of the Writers’ Union of Armenia Eduard Militonyan said the name of former President of the Writers’ Union of Armenia Levon Ananyan in the list of this program’s initiators is not coincidental. “It is no coincidence that this entire process should begin with the Writers’ Union since Tumanyan’s first, the so-called, advocates must be the writers. Hovhannes Tumanyan has left the largest seal on the Armenian identity. Vernatun (garret) carried out major collective works for folklore, contemporary writers, our history”, he said.
Director of Armenpress news agency Aram Ananyan in his remarks said in 2012 it was difficult to believe that five years later this ‘great return’ of Tumanyan will take place. He highlighted that in general the past years were periods of changes in the life of the Armenian community of Georgia: the evidence of this are both the opening of Tumanyan House center, the renovated St. George Church in Tbilisi, as well as the activeness that the Georgian-Armenians have. “In 2012 there were very few people who were ready to move forward that step so that it will turn into reality. As we were initiating the digitization of photo archive of Armenpress, we have revealed that all photo negatives dedicated to 100th anniversary of Tumanyan have been maintained. I think we will bring our photo exhibition here during the cultural opening of Vernatun (garret) and will leave the dublicate at the ‘Tumanyan’s House’ scientific, cultural center”, Aram Ananyan said.
The renovation and furnishing works of the House are being conducted by the funds of the Armenian Diocese, as well as by the assistance of the Jinishian Memorial Foundation and IDeA Foundation.
The history pages of the ‘Tumanyan’s House’ scientific, cultural center were opened thanks to the efforts of His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, late Levon Ananyan, MP Vardan Ghukasyan, co-founder of IDeA charitable Foundation Ruben Vardanyan, Executive Director of Jinishian Memorial Foundation Armen Hakobyan. The Armenian Diaspora Ministry and the Armenian Embassy in Georgia greatly contributed to the opening of the center.