YEREVAN — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended the ceremony for the donation of a precious 15th-century Gospel by the Armenian Government to Matenadaran, the Mesrop Mashtots Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

The manuscript was handed over to Matenadaran by Zhanna Andreasyan, the Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports and President of Matenadaran’s Board of Trustees.

During the event, Prime Minister Pashinyan extended his congratulations on this significant occasion. He noted that the 15th-century book, as highlighted by the Matenadaran director, was returning to its homeland. Pashinyan expressed his gratitude to all law-abiding taxpayers in Armenia, emphasizing that their contributions enable the government to address such important matters.

He underscored the importance of this message to the taxpayers of the Republic of Armenia, highlighting that their payments are allocated for such noble purposes. Pashinyan acknowledged that while the effectiveness of state budget expenditures may not be perfect, it’s crucial to replace the charity-driven approach with a logic of law-abiding tax payment. He emphasized that those who dutifully pay taxes are the real benefactors, as they strengthen the state and its institutions, allowing for the enhancement of the state’s spiritual, cultural, and foundational values.

Pashinyan also revealed that this was not an isolated event, as funds have been allocated in the next year’s state budget for similar acquisitions. He stressed that preserving, protecting, and reclaiming spiritual and cultural heritage is a key political priority for the government.

 

Furthermore, Pashinyan highlighted the government’s commitment to preserving and restoring cultural and historical monuments in Armenia, along with increased financing for scientific research, focusing on the institutionalization of these efforts.

Regarding the manuscript itself, Pashinyan expressed his desire to examine it firsthand and deferred to experts to provide insights into its historical and cultural significance.

The donated manuscript to Matenadaran was originally penned at the Arberd St. Astvastatsin Monastery of Vaspurakan, situated near Narekavank. This manuscript holds special importance as it is a unique relic from the renowned Arberd Monastery and is adorned with intricate illustrations.

The manuscript was both written and embellished within this now-ruined monastery, serving as a singular testament to the cultural and advanced writing traditions of the Armenian people within that monastery. It was crafted in 1405 by Izit, and until now, only one Gospel from the same author had been known to us, copied in Narekavank in 1420, and safeguarded in Matenadaran.

Today, centuries later, Matenadaran houses two manuscripts from the same author.

Prime Minister Pashinyan also took the opportunity to visit the “Christmas: Miniature Inspirations” exhibition at Matenadaran Museum, which showcases unique examples of Armenian miniatures, many of which are being publicly exhibited for the first time, in anticipation of the Christmas holidays.

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