05.04.2019 | According to the research of the RA Prosecutor’s Office, the fact of disappearance of cultural property at the cost of 120 million drams from the National Gallery of Armenia has been revealed. A criminal case has been initiated.

Within the framework of the study conducted by the Department of State Interests Protection of the RA General Prosecutor's office , it has been  revealed that on the basis of paragraph 5 of the decision of the RA Government  1204-N dated 24/11/2016 SNCO “Exhibition Center” has become the part of SNCO “National Gallery of Armenia”. According to the decision, the Ministry of Culture was to provide work on the delivery and acceptance of inventory, as well as to conduct an inventory, evaluation and approve the acts of transfer. A commission has been created by the decree of the Minister of Culture for this purpose, but the works noted have  not been  carried out.

It was revealed that in the funds of SNCO “Exhibition Center” an inventory of museum items has never been carried out. At the request of the RA General Prosecutor's Office  in museum collections an exhibit inspection has been carried out, as a result, it was found that 626 exhibits - paintings, tapestries, graphic works, sculptures, etc., with a total cost of 120.250.000 drams are missing. Among the missing exhibits was Martiros Saryan’s painting “The Armenian Philharmonic Hall” at the cost of 60 million drams, and the painting “Revival” by O. Zardaryan  at the cost of 2 million drams.

Taking into consideration that there is obvious corpus delicti a criminal case has been initiated in the Department of State Interests Protection of the RA General Prosecutor's office according to p. 3, art. 177, p. 1  art. 180 and p. 2 art. 315 of the RA Criminal Code.

The preliminary investigation of the criminal case is entrusted to the RA Investigative Committee.

Note: Every person suspected in or charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed innocent unless proved guilty in the manner prescribed by the RA Criminal Procedure Code and unless the verdict comes into legal force.