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Yerevan Art College Students Report About Illegal Furniture Workshop on Premises

Students of the Panos Terlemezyan Yerevan State Art College have discovered an illegally operating furniture workshop on the premises of the college, former Terlemezyan student Paylak Tevanyan said in conversation with Epress.am.

The Terlemezyan Restart student initiative group found out about the workshop after they posted a survey on their Facebook page, asking former and current students to share any questionable information or concerns regarding the college. “We received an anonymous message that said there was in illegal furniture workshop operating in the college building. We decided to go there and verify the information since back in 2012, the former acting director of the college had also talked about the illegal workshop,” Tevanyan told us.

A group of former and current students went to the place, but came upon a closed door: “The deputy director came up to us and said the director had ordered not to open this door. The students then decided to hold a sit-in strike with a demand to open the door for them.”

According to Arthur Avagyan, member of Terlemezyan Restart, it is especially alarming that students may be faced with a locked door at their own college. “This is unacceptable for us. How can the director order to close a door in front of students? There is no reason not to let us go there. They are violating our right to free movement. And of course, it gives rise to even greater suspicion.”

“Upon entering, we saw a large workshop with large lathes, different kinds of instruments. They claimed they were repairing old Terlemezyan furniture and equipment there. But if you were to go to Terlemezyan you’d see that the furniture there never gets repaired, everything is broken.What’s more, we found half-built kitchen furniture there, pieces of laminate. The director insisted that it was a gift from a friend…”

Epress.am contacted Terlemezyan director Anna Mnatsakanyan, who denied the existence of a furniture workshop on the college premises. “There are labs on the basement floor, but no illegally operating workshop. There’s kitchen equipment there because we plan to open a buffet. The furniture has been there for nearly nine months.”