Narek Sargsyan, Vazgen Manukyan
Armenia’s Public Council chairman Vazgen Manukyan on Thursday called on the Yerevan Municipality to stop construction in Mashtots Park, until the legality of the controversial work can be clarified.
For two weeks, the park in the center of the capital has been the scene of protests as environmentalists are angry that the area green space is being filled with small shops that had been removed from Abovian Street and placed in the park as part of an agreement that never had a public hearing.
At Thursday’s Council meeting, chief architect of Yerevan Narek Sargsyan said an agreement had been reached to relocate the boutiques to the park, where they would remain up to three years. "We have discussed many alternative variants. Not all the shops of Abovian street will be taken to the park. Till now it is not clear where the others will be placed," he said.
Environmental activists Karine Danielyan spoke on behalf of protesters and said the authorities have lost the trust of young people, who were deceived. She argued that the green areas of the park must be preserved, especially as the park is home to one of the city’s busiest maternity hospitals.
Manukyan said that the Council will hold discussions on the issue with the Government and with President Serzh Sargsyan.