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22 02 2007 - Opening of Saint Cross Church in Akhtamar to take place April 14

Feb. 21, 2007 /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Reconstruction of Saint Cross on Akhtamar island is of political and economic importance, Samvel Karapetian, historian and chairman of Era NGO said in Yerevan. The opening ceremony of the church will take place April 14, 2007.
"Saint Cross is a church that Turks did not dare to demolish event at the times of mass destruction of churches at the territory of Western Armenia. Thanks to its world fame the church was saved from vandalism. Now it's being reconstructed. More and more tourists are coming to see it and this has a positive impact on the local economy," he said. The Armenian historian considers that heads of province administrations come to understand what a great mistake their grandfathers had committed by demolishing ancient monasteries and churches, since now these sights could attract tourists. Karapetian underscored that "it's the fault of Armenians who lost their importance and thus allowed Turks thinking of economic profit form reconstructing Armenian monuments."
"It would be a miracle if an Armenian nameboard would be fastened next to the Turkish and English ones," Karapetian said adding Turks will never do that, reports IA Regnum.
The Saint Cross Church was built in 915-921 by architect Manvel under the rule of King Gagik Artsruni. The reconstruction was started in May 2005 and finished August 30, 2006.

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