Saluting 2,500 years of Indo-Armenian ties; Armenian monument to be erected in Madras

To mark the 200 years of the existence of the Armenian Street, the government of Armenia is planning to erect a monument to commemorate the iconic place which houses the popular Armenian Church, the New Indian Express reports.

The country is awaiting clearance from the Tamil Nadu government, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia Shivkumar Eashwaran told Express. Speaking on the sidelines of an interaction organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Eashwaran said a venue had been identified for the project, which was being built as part of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s initiative to mark 2,500 years of Indo-Armenian ties.  The chief minister is likely to inaugurate the structure, for which she took an initiative after meeting Armenian envoy Ara Hakobyan twice.

“She wants it to be done. We are working with the state government in this regard,” said Eashwaran, adding that either Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan or President Serzh Sargsyan would attend the inauguration.

The street was home for Armenians, who settled in Chennai (then Madras) in the 16th Century. The lane also houses one of the oldest churches of India, the Armenian Church. Around 300 families used to live here before independence. Most of them used to lend money to the British government, Eashwaran said, adding, however, “Now we hardly have any (people). I am working towards rebuilding the age-old ties.”

While building the monument near the entrance of the Armenian Street, all necessary steps will be taken to ensure that no SC order on arches is violated, he said. “We don’t want to get into any judicial issue.” Later during the CII interaction, Eashwaran wooed the city businessmen to invest in Armenia. An Indian business delegation would also be visiting Armenia from September 24 to 28, CII officials said.

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