The authorities in the Armenian capital plan to clamp down on illegal construction and will not allow the legalisation of illegal developments after they are built.
The city’s chief architect delivered a strong message at a press conference on November 6, stressing that no more historic buildings will be destroyed on his watch.
"As long as I am the chief architect, no monument-building will be destroyed in Yerevan. Those developers who buy a certain plot of land where a monument is located will be required to fund the reconstruction of those buildings. This is not what has happened, but from now on it will definitely be,” Artur Meschian told journalists, according to a statement from the city council.
Meschian referred specifically to the historic Afrikyan building in downtown Yerevan, a former meeting place for politicians, artists and other prominent Yerevan residents, that was torn down in 2014 despite public pressure to preserve it.
He also stressed that there will be no more legalisations of illegal constructions, adding that: “I promise that we will be your partner and supporter, if everything is done legally.”
The plans to preserve the city’s architecture were drawn up in agreement with Yerevan mayor Hayk Marutian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, a former protest leader who took power after the velvet revolution of April and May this year. The council is now led by a pro-Pashinian alliance headed by actor and producer Marutian.
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