Armenian children to organize flashmob calling to save ancient city of Ani in Turkey


A dance flashmob with 1.5 thousand children will be held on April 18 in Yerevan in order to call for preventing the destruction of an ancient Armenian city of Ani in Turkey, told reporters the event initiator, Director of “Hay Aspet” (Armenian Knight), Karin Tonoyan.

Ani, “a city of one thousand and one churches”, is a ruined medieval Armenian city located currently in Turkey (historically, in Western Armenia). In the period from 961 to 1045, Ani was the capital of the Armenian Kingdom. Ani had several trade routes, and its religious buildings, palaces and fortifications were among the most technically and artistically advanced in the world. In 2012 Turkey started restoration works in Ani.

“The flashmob will begin at 19:00 local time in Republic Square. The dance part will be followed by a candle-lighting ceremony,” said Tonoyan, urging everyone to take part.

The flashmob participants are 1,500 children, aged 7-17, from different schools of Yerevan and other Armenian regions, as well as from various dance schools of the capital.

According to Tonoyan, for seven years the winners of the children’s intellectual program “Hay Aspet” have visited historical Armenian cities in Turkey. “And every year we witness how Turkey destroys the cultural monuments of Armenia pretending to reconstruct them. Basically, it happens in the city of Ani, where these monuments survived,” admitted Tonoyan.

She explained that last year in Ani right next to the ancient temples were established construction sites. “We heard the guides to tell foreign tourists that Ani temples’ inscriptions belonged to the people who had been exterminated. We were deeply angered,” added Tonoyan.

According to her, that case was a reason to collect children’s signatures appealing to UNESCO to follow the restoration works in Ani to prevent the complete destruction of Armenian cultural monuments. “The collection of signatures was conducted in October-November, 2014; we managed to collect more than 10,000 signatures which were later sent to UNESCO. The next step was to organize a flashmob,” highlighted Karin Tonoyan.

During the flashmob, participants of the “Armenian Knight” will address to young people around the world in five languages calling to unite and fight together for saving Ani, and involving Armenian craftsmen in the process of historical monuments restoration. The song “Be my Ani” was created especially for the event.


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