National, World or Shared Heritage? The seventh-century basilica in Mren



Rok publikování 2021
Druh Vyžádané přednášky
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis On the border between the present-day Turkey and Armenia stands a 7th-century Christian basilica preserved from the medieval city of Mren. Its today’s state of preservation is catastrophic, since the monument was destroyed by Turkish army after the Armenian genocide of 1915. While belonging to Turkey, this site of world heritage is menaced and without a rapid intervention risks to cease to exist. This is due to tragic understanding of the local heritage by all parties involved: for Armenians, Mren is a proof of their presence in eastern Anatolia, for Turkey it appears to be a memory of the past events of 1915, which are still negated by the official politic of Ankara. From our perspective, this nationalist and 19th/20th-century perspective is biased – Mren should be considered as a place of “shared heritage” beyond the national borders. Its visual patterns and architectural setting show its strong connection to a shared Mediterranean culture of the early Middle Ages. Thus, this paper wishes to investigate: 1) Mren’s historical value as a proof of interconnection between the medieval Armenian culture and the Mediterranean; 2) its historiographical interpretation in art-historical research, especially in the period of growing tensions around the year 1900; 3) its importance as a site of memory and possible reconciliation through monumental heritage.
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