Friday, January 19, 2007
AKHTAMAR CHURCH TO REOPEN ON APRIL 11
Akhtamar Church, situated on Akhtamar Island on Van Lake near the eastern Turkish city of Van, will be opened on April 11th, Turkish news agencies reported. The church was renovated with the cooperation of Van Governor's Office and Culture and Tourism Ministry of Turkey. Akhtamar Church was constructed by Armenian architect Manuel between 915 and 921 A.D. under the supervision of King Gagik I. Among the important pieces of Armenian architecture, the church draws attraction with its stone workmanship and the relieves on its walls. Earlier reports from Turkey suggested that Turkish authorities planned to open it on April 24 when Armenians across the globe will be marking the 92-nd anniversary of the 1915 genocide, but they revised this decision after complaints from Armenian Diaspora organizations and particularly from Patriarch Mesrop Mutafian, head of the Turkish Patriarchate of the Armenian Church.