The Symbol of Armenia’s Liberty Cracks

Armenia -- Liberty square facing Armenia's Opera house in Yerevan, 27Feb2012

Armenia -- Liberty square facing Armenia's Opera house in Yerevan, 27Feb2012

The roof of the underground parking facility built under Yerevan’s Liberty square has cracked less than two years after construction.

So it happens, that the roof of the parking facility is also the Yerevan’s Liberty square.

The square has been the epicenter of Armenia’s political landscape since early 1990’s, when historic rallies staged here resulted in the reestablishment of today’s independent Republic of Armenia.

The square also witnessed the non-stop opposition protests in 2008, which ended in unprecedented political standoff in the country, March 1 violence and loss of 10 lives.

After Serzh Sargsyan was sworn in as President in the Liberty square, while half of downtown Yerevan was cordoned off to keep the opposition away from the square, the Armenian authorities sealed it off for the opposition for 3 years. The official reason was that there was a need for building an underground parking facility, although most people speculated, that it is just a maneuver to keep the opposition away from the square.

The parking facility was opened with fanfare. Officials announced, that the building quality is amazing and that it is a superb parking facility. I’ve parked there 4-5 times. It is OK.

PS: There is a lot of symbolism attached to this square. It is pretty much regarded as the symbol of Armenia’s Liberty. And now it is cracked!

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17 thoughts on “The Symbol of Armenia’s Liberty Cracks

  1. How many stories is that parking garage? I also heard that the exterior of the Opera building is cracking as well — the edges of the stones are pulverizing due to the sinking of the garage.

    Next time when Serj Sargsyan has his military parade/show of power/swearing of presidency after his “re-election”, he should be careful so that he doesn’t fall in that crack.

  2. it’s not a simbol of a liberty, because the parking created in order to keep off the people from the square for some time. And the parking cracks, which means the symbol of regime cracks, not the liberty.

    • Well if you look at the photo and don’t know about the parking lot – then you’d think its is the square that cracked, no?

  3. Yes, Liberty Square is an important symbol of Armenia, but the pavement cracks are a sign of either an inferior mixture of cement being used, or of construction faults beneath it. I wonder whose cement factory supplied the cement, and which construction company did the design and oversight? Any records available, or is that a state secret?

    • The construction was done by an Italian – Armenian company called “RENCO S.p. A.” Yerevan’s municipality had a share or something like that in it, that I can’t remember very well now and can’t find a link to a proper source

  4. Pingback: News & Views (Feb 27, 2012)

  5. I’m eager to know, what is the reason that it cracked? Was it due to incorrect engineering, or “natural causes”? I would hate to find out we had better engineers 1500 years ago than today. Oh wait Dodi and friends were not in charge 1500 years ago.

  6. The last time I heard an honest liberty speech on this square was 1988.

    But still, I hope this crack won’t hinder an oppositional rally planned for March 1. And I hope our mayor will find enough courage to resign after everying we saw this winter.

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