Several days ago I was in the car going to my friend’s house, which is in Monument. While going up the road, I couldn’t again resist the sorrow and not to shake my head on the view of the empty place of dismantled Kukuruznik. Still holding a grudge against suchlike destructions, I was kept in my thoughts. As the car moved on another shocking scene caught my eye.
The fact that last summer some “smart” people decided to place a naked Roman soldier on top of Cascade stairs, near the Eternal Fire symbol, was not enough. Now they decided to limelight its wondrous body installing several floodlights at it’s feet, thus making it glitter even in the gloom. Instead , the symbol of Eternal Fire, which is situated some 3 meters away from this roman creature, is totally veiled in darkness and but for its height it wouldn't be noticeable at all.
Besides, at the bottom of Cascade another creature have been occupying its place for several years. It's the well known black cat statue, which in Armenia is associated with unfortuna and the so called “nafs”, that is to say, when someone puts an evil eye on a person. Some Armenians call the cats ‘God's handkerchiefs”, the others believe that if a cat crosses your way you are going to suffer a misfortune. If we trust this, perhaps that is the purpose that Armenians have ill-luck.
And still, even when I try to treat them as cultural values I can’t find anything valuable. Moreover, I find them rude, ugly, unsightly to behold, menacing and futile. On the sight of them I don’t feel other emotions but sickness. Oh yea, at least I loathe.
Why should that statues necessarily be located on Cascade, near Eternal Fire, which is devoted to the memory of those people who struggled and fell victims to the war? Couldn't they find some other proper place. Let's say at the entrance of zoo or water world. Childs would enjoy them greatly, as they mostly remind heroes from some cartoons. I think in the beginning Italians intended to act the same way, later they changed their minds and decided to present them to Armenian people. And we accept everything from abroad with such enthusiasm, that without pondering over its appropriateness we are even ready to destroy several national values.
Hey, people over there, those who deal with architecture, sculptures, statues and issues like these, instead of “enriching” Armenian architectural fond with stunning hotels and incomprehensible statues, you've better in the first place to protect what we have, what we have deserved from generations, what is Armenian.
3 years ago the statue of the greatest Armenian artist Hovhannes Aivazovski was erected near the Chamber House in the Round Park. It is a wonderful sculpture-Aivazovski stands on the waves, with brush in one and paints in the other hand. After several weeks, when I was going home from classes, I noticed that the brush was absent from his hand. The brush as well as the statue was made up of metal and there are several points where some people exchange metal with money. Probably the person who stole it was whether in great need, because he would receive only some 500 instead, or it was simply an act of vandalism. But up to this day Aivazovski remains without any brush. And as Yezdi is not Yezdi any more without sheep, artist is not an artist without his brush as well. Will anyone ever care to stick his brush back?
Instead of renovating such statues which are dime a dozen in Yerevan, we pay enormous attention to those black presents and illuminate them, so that if an Italian visits Yerevan especially at night he can be proud of his culture and the Armenians’ great respect regarding it.
But Armenians have such an immense amount of cultural values worth being pointed out and illuminated. And yet they are lost in darkness and dust.
This is what I mean when I say that we must protect and respect our national values, whatever they are. Otherwise, why do we claim it from other nations, when we are not able to do it by ourselves?