President of the Organization of World Heritage Cities impressed by centuries-old churches of Etchmiadzin

Satik Isahakyan

The 33rd General Conference of UNESCO’s Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) and the sitting of Board of Directors were held in Etchmiadzin. Today the participants visited historical-cultural sites of Armenia.

The Organization of World Heritage Cities established in 1993 unites about 250 cities of the world. OWHC President Harry Brinkman said at a press conference that their main goal is to contribute to the implementation of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and the International Charter for the Protection of Historic Cities, encourage the cooperation and exchange of information and expertise among historic cities throughout the world.

The Organization is composed of cities included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Etchmiadzin, which had been an observer in the Organizations since 2007, became a full member of OWHC in 2011.

The ancient religious heritage of Etchmiadzin – the Mother Cathedral, St. Hripsime, St. Gayane, St. Shghakat and St. Mary Churches and Zvartnots Temple were included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2000.

Members of the Organizations visited monuments on the territory of Etchmiadzin. Harry Brinkman said he was impressed by the churches build 15 centuries ago, which stand up to now.

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