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Obscure future of Tumanyan’s museum2012-01-23 19:35
Hardly has the scandal about the burnt church of Surb Nshan in Tbilisi has died out when another cultural conflict developed between Georgians and Armenians. Armenian writer Ovanes Tumanyan's apartment in Tbilisi has almost been turned into a hostel for Turkish workers. One could hardly think of a worse insult to the poet and storyteller's cultural heritage.
The apartment of Armenian "Andersen" Ovanes Tumanyan in Davitashvili Street was granted by his heirs to the writer's native city of Tbilisi in Soviet times. A library named after him was arranged there but in the first years of Georgia's independence, local authorities were in such a great need that they exchanged book collections for fuel. The same thing happened to Tumanyan's apartment. There is another version saying that the officials obtained money for repair works by mortgaging the apartment and then failed to repay the debt, so the writer's house passed to businessman Azor Lezhava.
Anyway, the book collection was later removed from the apartment that no longer belonged to the city. Tumanyan's descendants possessed only a small part of the flat which had earlier occupied the entire third floor. Lezhava has always wanted to sell his 120 square meters of real property. Initially, he was asking 25 thousand dollars for it but now, according to the writer's granddaughter Irma Safrastbekyan, the price has been raised to 70 thousand dollars.
GEOTURAN Georgian-Turkish company expressed a desire to buy the apartment. According to the Union of Armenians of Tbilisi, the house of the Armenian classicist is going to be turned into a hostel for Turkish workers. "The head of the company has turned to the poet's great granddaughter Alena Tymanyan-Kolesnikova living in the second half of the memorial apartment with an offer to buy the other half from her but his proposal was denied", - Union of Armenians reports. The organization demands that the Armenian commission currently handling the situation with the burnt church of Surb Nshan also handle Tumanyan's heritage. "Ovanes Tumanyan, as well as Ilya Chavchavadze and Mirza Fatali Ahundov buried in the Georgian land, belong to the whole world and the world must protect their cherished memory. Help prevent the catastrophe!!!" - the organization's appeal goes.