Founding Director of the RAA, Dr. Armen Hakhnazarian

Restoration of Historical Monuments The restoration activities of the RAA are mostly associated with the name of its Founding Director, Dr. Armen Hakhnazarian, who either himself undertook, or actively participated in, the renovation and restoration of various historical Armenian monuments in Armenia, Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), Iran and Syria.

Between the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Hakhnazarian participated in the restoration of some Armenian monuments in the historical Armenian district of Artaz, present-day Azerbaijan Province of the Islamic Republic of Iran. For over 6 years, together with architect Varuzhan Arakelian, he headed the restoration of the monasteries of St. Tadevos Arakyal (Thaddeus the Apostle) and Sourb Astvatzatzin (Holy Virgin) of Tzortzor, both of them in West Azerbaijan Province. He also supervised the renovation of St. Sandukht Chapel (14th century) in West Azerbaijan and headed the restoration of the monastery of St. Stepanos Nakhavka (St. Stephen the Proto-Deacon) in East Azerbaijan.

From 1982 until 1985, A. Hakhnazarian supervised the restoration of St. Gevorg (George), St. Sargis and St. Grigor (Gregory) Churches in Teheran, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In 1987, within his collaboration with Land and Culture Organisation, A. Hakhnazarian participated in the restoration of two churches (including St. Stepanos of Garaturan Village) and some houses (including that of the Ashgarians) in Kesab District, Syria.

Unfortunately, Armen Hakhnazarian did not live to see the final restoration of the monastic complex, which is still underway today. He died an untimely death in Aachen City, Germany, on 19 February 2009.

Continuing his cooperation with the same organisation, in 1995 A. Hakhnazarian headed the restoration of St. Minas Church (17th century), Tatev Village, Syunik Region, Republic of Armenia (project by Samvel Ayvazian and Amiran Badishian). In 1997 he supervised the restoration of the parish church of St. Stepanos (Stephen, 1866 or 1868) in the border village of Davit Bek, Syunik Region (the work had been undertaken by the villagers themselves).

Between 1998 and 2001, Hakhnazarian supervised the renovation of Saghmosavank Monastery (13th century), Aragatzotn Region, Republic of Armenia.

In December 2003 conservation activities were carried out in St. Sargis Chapel of the monastic complex of St. Sargis (5th to 18th centuries), Ushi Village, Aragatzotn Region. The restoration of St. Sargis Chapel began in the spring of 2004 and was completed in the spring of 2005.

In 2006 restoration activities began in the church of Metz Parni Village, Lori Region, Republic of Armenia: its roof was repaired, and a new belfry and ramparts were built for the church (projects by Samvel Ayvazian).

Within his cooperation with Land and Culture Organisation, A. Hakhnazarian also unfolded restoration activities in Karintak Village, Shushi District, Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).

In 1997 A. Hakhnazarian started large-scale restoration activities in the monastic complex of Dadivank (projects by Samvel Ayvazian), Karvajar District, Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh). In 2005 the belfry of the monastery was restored through financial means donated by Margrit Hakhnazarian (for details regarding the restoration of the monastery, see The Restoration of Dadivank Monastery between 1997 and 2011 [in Armenian] by Samvel Ayvazian).

In 2009 Armen Hakhnazarian and Samvel Ayvazian were awarded the First Prize (nomination: Restoration of Monuments) of the pan-Armenian competition-exhibition The Best Building of the Year for their studies and restoration efforts (including both project development and construction activities) in the religious buildings of the monastic complex of Dad.