Working visit of the President Armen Sarkissian to Gyumri
During his working visit to Gyumri, President Armen Sarkissian had a working dinner with the group representing the National Association of Builders of Italy (ANCE) and Association of Italian Engineering, Architectural and Technical-Economic Consulting Organizations of Italy (OICE) and discussed possibilities of cooperation for the reconstruction of the old structures of Gyumri which represent historical and cultural value.
Later, accompanied by the Italian entrepreneurs, Governor of Shirak maz Tigran Petrossian, Mayor of Gyumri Samvel Balassanian, representatives of the organizations, which are implementing Gyumri development programs, President Sarkissian toured the historical center of the city. The reconstruction and development programs were presented to the Italian guests.
Responding to the questions of the journalists from Gyumri, Armen Sarkissian said that months ago in Italy, at the meeting with the representatives of ANCE he had invited them to Gyumri. The President noted that the meaning of the invitation was very simple: to revive Gyumri, and certainly, to preserve the cultural heritage of the city, while the purpose was to reconstruct Gyumri together. “Gyumri is our home, let’s rebuild our home, give it a new life. It is a unique city, with beautiful history and good people. Gyumri is a forgotten treasure,” President Sarkissian said. “Italy is a country of huge historical and cultural heritage. Italians appreciate culture and know how to preserve it. Thus, their visit is important if we want to make Gyumri a cultural center.”
It is envisaged that the first visit of the Italian businessmen will be followed by the visit of a working group which will make assessments on the works to be done.
The Ambassador of Italy to Armenia Vincenzo del Monaco in his turn expressed readiness to participate in and promote the development of Gyumri. “I can see potential of this city, and there is an important undertaking to make the future of the city much better.”
The representative of Italy’s second largest construction company Andrea Romani noted that as a construction company, they were interested in the reconstructions work of the city and want to bring their participation to Gyumri’s life. “We understand that this is a very important issue for the country. We are ready together with other Italian companies think about comprehensive assistance and programs which will develop this beautiful city. We hope to do it soon with the help of our know-how, resources, expertise, in the Italian style and design,” she added.
During his working visit, President Sarkissian was familiarized with other programs aimed at the city’s development. Accompanied by the Executive Director of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund Haykak Arshamian, President Sarkissian visited and observed the site of the Our Gyumri program, which is implemented by the Fund.Haykak Arshamian informed that the program envisages a full reconstruction of the semi-complete structures which had been damaged during the earthquake. It will allow to provide housing to dozens of needy families living in temporary structures. Accompanied by the governor of the region and the mayor of Gyumri, President Sarkissian visited also the Black Castle which serves as a cultural center and familiarized with other programs aimed at the development of tourism.
In the framework of his working visit to Gyumri, President Armen Sarkissian at the Style art gallery in Gyumri participated at the opening of the “Italy: (In)visible stories” exhibition which presents the works of the contemporary Armenian and Italian artists.
Present at the opening of the exhibition were the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy to Armenia Vincenzo del Monaco, Italian businessmen, art loving circles of Gyumri. The President noted that he was glad to be present at the opening of this exhibition in the arts and culture capital of Armenia Gyumri.
“I am especially pleased because today we are having not only the Ambassador with us and our colleagues but also a presentable group of representatives of construction and architectural companies from Italy who have arrived to participate at today’s event. They have come to Gyumri to familiarize with Gyumri. Italians are the best experts of culture, arts, cultural heritage and old architecture. This is not just a familiarization visit. This is the first but not the last one. Our goal is to make these businessmen learn about Gyumri and participate in the reconstruction of its cultural and architectural treasures,” the President of Armenia said.
He thanked the Ambassador and the organizers on the occasion of the opening of this interesting exhibition. “This is a truly European exhibition in Armenia’s art capital Gyumri. I would like to express my deep gratitude to the government of Italy as well as to my colleague and a good friend President Mattarella. I hope that the President will find another occasion to visit Armenia, and we will visit Gyumri together to observe the results of our cooperation,” Armen Sarkissian concluded.