500th anniversary of Armenian printing not celebrated on a proper level

Anna Nazaryan

Armenians cherish the book, but the 500th anniversary of Armenian printing was not celebrated on a proper level, Director of the History Institute of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences Ashot Melkonyan said at a scientific conference today.

We started writing after the creation of the alphabet early in the 5th century, in 1512 we started printing books, Melkonyan reminded.

Armenians are carriers of the written culture, not verbal. According to philologist Azat Yeghiazaryan, Narekatsi’s “Book of Lamentations” is a vivid example of the cult of book in Armenia. He recalled  the tradition of treating with the book even by those who cannot read.

There are a number of examples even in the 19th century, Azat Yeghiazaryan said. The cult of book continued into Soviet times and after Armenia gained independence, he continued.

People in Armenia spend huge sups to publish books, something Europeans will never do, the philologist said.

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