Metsamor, the single most important archeological find of the 20th century in Armenia, an excavation that uncovered 7000 years of history and showed the origination of Bronze and Iron in Armenia, an excavation that uncovered a astronimical observatory predating by 1000 years the "original" observatories in Babylonia, an excavation that continues to uncover precious artifacts and ornaments illustrasting a sophisticated, cultured people who were an integral part of the region, of Anatolia and of the rise of civilization in the Near East, is in danger of permanent closure and collapse.
The museum, neglected during the heady change from communism in Armenia in the 1990s, is in dire straits. The roof needs total replacement, irreplaceable artifacts and archelogical finds seen no where else in the Near East, are in serious danger of damage. Security is nonexistant or nonfunctioning, it is a wonder that the most rare artifacts have not already made their way to the black market.
Nine workers struggle on valiantly, but the governenment can only supply salaries of $4.00 to $10.00 a month, a joke of a payment which threatens their livelihood and their collective knowledge base should they finally be forced to shutter the museum and leave.
The only heating in the winter can be be made for the offices, exposing the museum contents to continued decay. Similarly, there is no air-conditioning during hot summer months, when inside temperatures will rise above 40oC (104o F) during the day.
For several years the Metsamor Nuclear plant provided some support in exchange for use of the springs running through the property to cool the reactors, but with transfer of the plant to Russian hands, this support has been discontinued (the demand for spring water has not - another negotiating blunder or blind sell off of strategic assets).
Amazingly, few know of this most important site, only 8 miles from Echmiadzin. This includes world bodies such as UNESCO, which focuss on religious structures in Armenia. We are proud to have been the first to write about this extraordinary find, the first to publicize its plight and the first to push for its recognition with UNESCO. And contact UNESCO, asking them to recognize this as a true world heritage site, which will help in securing protection and additional funds. But don't wait for the bureaucrats --HELP NOW!!!
The COMMITTEE TO PRESERVE METSAMOR MUSEUM – ARMENIA is a non profit organization formed soley to preserve and protect the Metsamor Museum and Excavation. It has created a fund through the Monte Melkonian Fund, Inc., to provide support and assistance to the Metsamor Museum. The Monte Melkonian fund is a California charitable, tax-deductable organization, which has been providing assistance to the needy in Artsakh and Armenia, and has provided special assistance to other similar projects.
Every dollar contributed will be accounted for and the committee will provide donors with a report on how the money was spent and what was accomplished. This project will help preserve the historical roots of all Armenians and is a call to you to help preserve those roots.
Please help if you can, and visit the Metsamor Museum next time you are in Armenia. Should you wish to learn more about Metsamor, please visit the Metsamor page.
How to Help
If you have any questions feel free to contact Hacob Mkrtchian at (323) 661-8678.
Members of the Committee to Preserve Metsamor Museum:
Haroutiunyan Azat, Director of the Metsamor museum
Hacob Mkrtchian, Ph.D.
Angela Barseghian, Esq.
Markar Melkonian, Ph.D.