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Hovhannes Tumanyan House in Tbilisi

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Hovhannes Tumanyan’s last home in Tbilisi opened as a cultural center in 2017, at 18 Amaghleba Street.

Historic event in Tbilisi: Home of Tumanyan opens its doors again

07/08/2017 On August 5, 2017, the “House of Hovhannes Tumanyan” Center for Science and Culture opened its doors at 18 Amaghleba Street in Tbilisi (Hovhannes Tumanyan’s last home in Tbilisi), turning a new page over in the history of Georgian-Armenian cultural ties, reported the Armenian Diocese of Georgia of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church to Hayern Aysor.

This truly historic event was the return of the 100-year-old home of the Great Tumanyan to the Armenian community of Georgia. The home has gladly hosted Aghayan, Komitas, Shirvanzadeh, Isahakyan, Papazyan, Mar, Iashvili, Tabidze, Grishashvili, Bryusov and others, as well as hosted literary conversations, reading sessions, conferences, discussions on printed and original books and studies on the samples of Armenian, Georgian and world literature.

After Georgia’s declaration of independence, the home of the Poet of All Armenians was alienated from the Armenian community, and its destiny was catastrophic. The unused library section pertained to the private owner, and the heirs were left with a dilapidated home.

The home of Tumanyan was granted to its lawful owner through the unwavering efforts of former President of the Union of Writers of Armenia, the late Levon Ananyan and with the support of former mayor of Gyumri and current Deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia Vardan Ghukasyan and Co-Chair of IDeA Foundation Ruben Vardanyan. The repair works, improvement and furbishing of the home donated to the Georgian-Armenian Diocese were carried out through funding provided by the Jinishian Memorial Foundation, IDeA Foundation and the Diocese.

Among the participants of the opening of the renovated home of Hovhannes Tumanyan were delegates of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin; state and political figures of Georgia and the Republic of Armenia; diplomats; guests from the Russian Federation and various cities and regions of Armenia; heads of community organizations and Tbilisi-Armenian intellectuals.

The opening ceremony of the Center began with a wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of Hovhannes Tumanyan at Khojivank Pantheon of Armenian writers and public figures and a Requiem Service performed under the chairmanship of the leaders of the Georgian-Armenian Diocese and the Diocese of Tavush region of Armenia.

The ribbon for the “House of Hovhannes Tumanyan” Center for Science and Education was cut by Deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia Vardan Ghukasyan, Executive Director of IDeA Foundation Edgar Manukyan and Executive Director of the Main Office of the Jinishian Memorial Foundation in the USA Elza Manasyan. The clergy performed a blessing ceremony at the newly opened Center.

The Center’s director Gisane Hovsepyan gave a speech on the activities of the Center and the future milestones.

Head of the delegation of the Mother See, leader of the Tavush Diocese, His Grace, Fr. Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan read the blessing and kind wishes of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, as well as the congratulatory remarks of RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan and RA Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia Yuri Vardanyan.

The return of the home to the community and the repair and improvement works were presented in a film shown at the event.

The showing of the film was followed by welcoming remarks by Director of the House-Museum of Hovhannes Tumanyan in Yerevan Narine Tukhikyan; President of the Union of Writers of Armenia Eduard Militonyan; son of Levon Ananyan and Director of Armenpress Aram Ananyan; President of the Union of Writers of Georgia Maghvala Gonashvili; President of the “Vernatun” Union of Armenian Writers of Georgia Zhora Snkhchyan; poet and translator Givi Shahnazar and Director of Hayartun Center of the Armenian Diocese of Georgia Levon Chidilyan.

Afterwards, benefactors and contributors gave their congratulatory remarks in which they wished that the Center serves its purpose.

The song by soloist Anna Badalyan and the recitation by Liza Torosyan and Levon Chidilyan, along with Zhanna Davtyan’s marionette, conveyed the everlasting love that the Armenians have for the great poet.

The event ended with a speech by Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Georgia, His Grace, Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, who expressed his words of gratitude to all the benefactors and supporters for carrying out the pro-national act and returning the historic home of Tumanyan to the Armenian community of Tbilisi and donated the paintings by well-known Tbilisi-Armenian painters Meruzhan Shahumyan and Tengiz Mikoyants.

What is interesting is that the guests had also come with presents. Among them were president of the board of trustees of the Torch Organization Sos Sahakyan, Lamara Atoyan from Moscow, as well as Meruzhan Shahumyan, Tengiz Mikoyants and Valiko Arakelyan from Tbilisi and others.

From now on, the newly opened center next to Tumanyan’s home will hold literary, scientific, educational and cultural events, and one of the halls will be named after Levon Ananyan and will host meetings with Georgian and Armenian writers and discussions. The Center will also establish a center for research on and development of ethnography and the cultural relations of art figures, a puppet theater, a branch of the AGBU Armenian Virtual University, a museum of spiritual and cultural heritage and a library.

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‘Hovhannes Tumanyan House’ Scientific-Cultural Center Opened in Tbilisi, Georgia

August 7, 2017 1,220 Views 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.

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Armenian Poet's House In Tbilisi To Become Cultural Center January 31, 2012 | 14:49

YEREVAN. - Once Armenian Gyumri city Mayor Vardan Ghukasyan purchases the great Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan's house in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, it will become an Armenian-Georgian-or simply a literary, cultural, and educational-center, Lori Patriotic Union Chairman-and Armenian State Language Inspectorate Chief-Sergo Yeritsyan stated during a press conference on Tuesday, adding that Tbilisi City Hall expressed readiness to renovate the house.

Reflecting on the purchase price, Writers' Union Chairman Levon Ananyan noted that 1m2 is worth $ 800-1,300 in that area. "I will provide the required amount," Vardan Ghukasyan has said, according to Ananyan.

In her turn, Hovhannes Tumanyan's granddaughter Irma Safrastbekyan informed with delight that the problem is resolved, and that their family will no longer deal with this matter.

To note, Gyumri Mayor Vardan Ghukasyan has signed a note of obligation to purchase Hovhannes Tumanyan's house in Tbilisi.

As Armenian informed earlier, the ruling coalition's Prosperous Armenia Party Chairman, businessman Gagik Tsarukyan has no intentions to purchase Hovhannes Tumanyan's house in Tbilisi, Tsarukyan's spokesperson Khachik Galstyan told Armenian, refuting the media rumors on the purchase.

Armenian tried to clarify what the Ministry of Culture's conclusion was after the Armenian delegation, led by Writers' Union Chairman Levon Ananyan, recently visited Tbilisi. The Ministry responded that the house already has a buyer who is going to grant it to the Armenian community, but on the condition that it will later be turned into a cultural center. The future of the house also was discussed in the meeting convened at PM Tigran Sargsyan's residence on Jan. 26.

Tumanyan's house could have been sold. Part of it was purchased by a Georgian businessman in the 1990s, who was going to sell it to the Turkish-Georgian Geo Turan company. As a result, the company intended to turn it into a hostel for Turkish citizens. The company asked Tumanyan's great-grandson Alen Tumanyan to sell the other part of the house, but this was rejected.

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