UNDP and its Partners Join Efforts to Restore Historical-Cultural Heritage in Gyumri

07 Oct 2013

imageBradley Busetto with library staff

Yerevan, 07 October 2013 – The city of Gyumri is gifted with rich historical and cultural monuments. During centuries a unique architectural style has been formed in Gyumri, with more than 1,600 historical-architectural buildings covering an area of about 220 hectares. Most of them were built in the same period - 19th and beginning of 20th centuries. However, during the recent years the city’s historical and cultural heritage has suffered due to the 1988 devastating earthquake and insufficient funding and investments by public and private sectors. This, in its turn, hindered community development and investment flows to the second largest city of Armenia.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia and the RA Ministry of Culture, with the financial support of the Government of Italy, initiated a project aimed at regeneration of the urban environment in the city of Gyumri, thus making it more attractive place to live, visit and work and contributing to its socio-economic revival. Within the framework of the project, one of Gyumri’s historical buildings, constructed in 1860-1913 and considered as a constituent part of history and architecture of the city, was renovated to serve as a public library for the residents of the city.

Today, Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, Hasmik Poghosyan, RA Minister of Culture, and Bruno Scapini, Ambassador of Italy to Armenia, visited the city of Gyumri to inaugurate the renovated building. Governor of Shirak region Felix Tsolakyan and Gyumri Mayor Samvel Balasanyan also took part in the inauguration ceremony.

“UNDP and its partners are convinced that targeted interventions will support the preservation of cultural and historical heritage in the city, enhancing the tourism opportunities and socio-economic development of Gyumri. The improved image of the city will contribute to making it a more attractive place to live, work and invest,” said Bradley Busetto.

In addition, project addressed the unemployment issue in Gyumri. About fifty skilled and semi-skilled unemployed labor force got a temporary relief as, after relevant on-job training, they were enrolled in the urban rehabilitation and refurbishing processes.

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UNDP in Armenia has been established in March 1993 and supports the government to reach national development priorities and the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.