achievement was celebrated by over three thousand
participants, including Turkish Culture and Tourism
Minister Atilla Koc, Armenian Deputy Minister of
Culture Gagik Gyurgian, Turkish Armenian Patriarch
Mesrob II, senior government officials, high level
representatives of international organizations, key
contributors and tourists from Turkey and around the
the $1.5 million restoration project in May 2005.
The restoration was completed by a team of experts
composed of Turkish and Armenian architects, civil
engineers and scholars.
team worked closely with the Turkish Ministry of
Culture and Tourism, the Turkish Armenian
Patriarchy, universities, and civil society
organizations in order to ensure adherence to
international conservation standards. During the
restoration process, both the exterior and interior
of the church were restored, the walls were
strengthened against earthquakes and the stone
sculptures and frescoes were cleaned.
Church was constructed during the reign of Gagik
Ardzrouni, King of Vaspurakan, by the architect
Bishop Manuel between 915 – 921 AD. It was converted
to a monastery in 1113 when the Kingdom of
Vaspurakan came to an end, and the church became the
center of the Armenian Patriarchate till the end of
the 19th century.
During the inauguration ceremony, Turkish Armenian
Patriarch Mesrob II and a Vatican envoy praised the
restoration. The Armenian Deputy Minister of
Culture added that they were in Turkey not just to
witness the restoration of the church but also to
discuss new projects where Turkish and Armenian
experts can cooperate in many areas, including
archaeology and architecture.
[ Home ] [ Up ]