YEREVAN (News.am) — The Gagik Tsarukyan Charitable Foundation presented the final animated version of the Monumental Statue-Complex of Jesus Christ project this week. Despite the objections of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and the Archaeological and Geological Institutes, the government approved the implementation of the project and, in fact, it is already underway.
On Mount Hatis, 2,528 meters high, which is considered a historical and cultural monument and where exhaustive archeological excavations have not been conducted, there are plans to build 1,700 steps and a cable car that will take the citizens to the 77.7-meter high statue.
In 2019, archaeological excavations near this mountain uncovered a 3,000-year-old fortress. Archaeologist Artur Petrosyan, co-leader of the Armenian side of the Armenian-Italian Archaeological Expedition, also participated in documenting the ancient monument. He told NEWS.am that although the construction work has been temporarily suspended, much of the castle has been destroyed as a result of the work carried out so far.
“The damage has been done mainly to the central part. There are no structures in the central part. The western structures are irreversibly damaged,” he said.
Petrosyan noted that they have been conducting systematic excavations atop Mt. Hatis since 2019. “During our next explorations we visited, we saw that it is in the field of our research, it has a very interesting strategic position, it is a well-preserved fortress, and we recorded that too,” he noted.