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Funds provided from the state budget to the organisation of cultural activities in Marzes in 2009-2011 increased by more than 14% due to decentralisation.

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Armenia/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.1 Cultural infrastructure: tendencies & strategies

One of the steps taken since independence has been decentralisation of the cultural sphere, which was realised in 1995, just after the adoption of the Constitution. With the establishment of the new structure of regional governance and local self-governance, cultural organisations were passed to the jurisdiction of the community and regional governing bodies.

Strategically, this administrative decentralisation gave an opportunity to separate the role and place of the different authority levels in the cultural sphere. However, the policy carried out by the authorised body on culture (the Ministry of Culture), and financing, were not directed to the recovery of cultural life in the Marzes (regions) and communities. As a result of the policy decentralisation, financing of cultural institutions under the jurisdiction of the Marzes and communities decreased. Organisations located in the remote, border, high mountainous communities are also in need of methodical and professional information and advice.

The processes of governance of decentralisation in the cultural sphere caused several problems. In the relations between the Ministry of Culture and the marz administration (the Yerevan city administration) the main issues are:

  • There is no distinct division between powers and functions of the state authorised body, Marz administrations and communities. The corresponding departments of the given structures do not operate in coordination. The corresponding data communication between the capital and Marzes is not fully operational;
  • Departments on culture in community administrations and community cultural organisations do not submit enough programme proposals on cooperation in the cultural development sphere to the Marz administrations and state authorised body. As a result, issues on the development of cultural life are not reflected adequately in the development programmes of the Marzes;
  • The departments on cultural issues in the Marz administrations were united with the directorates on education and the number of specialists on cultural issues were reduced; and
  • There is a lack of specialists in the Marz administrations necessary for the organisation of studies and monitoring in the cultural sphere. Information on cultural activities received from the Marzes is also unsatisfactory and contradictory.

Funds provided from the state budget to the organisation of cultural activities in Marzes in 2009-2011 increased by more than 14%.

Table 4:     Funds provided from the state budget to the renovation and restoration of Monuments in Marzes in 2013, in AMD and in EUR





33 390.0






20 500.0



60 150.0



24 490.0



30 300.0


Vayots Dzor

14 560.0



12 620.0



21 550.0


Source:     Ministry of Culture of RA.

Privatisation of cultural organisations has not become a source for attracting investment. Thus, among 70 cinemas functioning before gaining independence (out of which 50 operated in the Marzes), only 3 of them are functioning currently - 2 in Yerevan and 1 in Gyumri. As a result, serious obstacles in the process of distribution and development of cinematography have emerged. Similar problems arose after the privatisation of the bookselling network that existed previously. Before privatisation, the network included 38 bookshops in Yerevan and 10 units of 33 bookshops in the Marzes. At present, 7 private bookshops operate in Yerevan, and 3 in the Marzes (one in Hrazdan, Gyumri and Vanadzor). The study reveals that cultural organisations are in poor condition in the Marzes: 44.7% of buildings are in a satisfactory condition, 43.8% are in an unsatisfactory condition, while 11.5% are unusable. As regards repair, 60.3% of the buildings need capital repair, 27.8% need running repairs and 11.9% do not require repairs. On examination, it has been revealed that 5.3% of the cultural organisations don't function now and 8.7% of them are located in other buildings, in particular in the village administration buildings because of a lack of suitable alternatives. On the other hand, since 2003, programmes on the capital repair of the cultural houses were implemented with state funds.

Chapter published: 22-05-2015

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