Vigen Avetis, the famous sculptor, left Armenia twenty years ago. He now lives and works in Italy.
Now he is back in Armenia for a brief visit.
Last November I spoke with Vigen and he expressed the following concerns about life in Armenia.
"My thoughts, spirit and heart are in the homeland. My friends and relatives live badly. There is great lawlessness and exploitation. Salaries are so low that people can’t pay their utility bills or wedding and funeral expenses.”
"The government has been taken over by a bunch of ignorant and criminal types. Even some MPs are criminals with nicknames. The presidential candidates are seen in terms of bad or worse. People are thus forced to leave their family homes and emigrate. Young Armenian men become laborers in some far off comer of Russia. Armenian women are marrying non-Armenians. The situation is terrible...I also blame myself for leaving the homeland. If there is no Armenia, what good are the songs of Charles Aznavour?"
Was your current visit to Armenia planned? It’s not connected to any cultural or other event. Why did you decide to come now, during this time post-election period of intensified politics?
I believe that we do not always decide where to be at any given point. I you remember the incident when the trolleybus plunged into Lake Yerevan, the swimmer Shavarsh Karapetyan happened to be walking by. Luckily he pulled many to safety.
Man is a source of energy. The heavenly forces follow happenings on earth through our eyes and participate, using all our powers of contact – thought, speech and action.
The reason for my being here, if I explain it in a conceptual way, were my works here in Armenia, but the motivating force was a mystical one.
It appears to us that our movements and steps are very personal. We don’t take into account the creative force of gravity, the push and pull, the destructive clash and the patience of novelty. It is necessary to understand that we are participants in the daily perfection of heaven and earth.
In any case, your visit has coincided with renewed activism in the civic and political arenas here in Armenia. You went to Liberty Square. How would you evaluate political developments in Armenia?
They are quite wonderful developments. They are moments that adorn and enrich one’s life. Without miracles, living becomes quite mundane.
The intensification of energy in Armenia was so great that it not only pulled me and Vardan Petrosyan but, I am convinced, it also attracted the attention of all our saints.
All the healthy forces, both earthly and heavenly, are now in Armenia. This is not merely a political development. Man has been brought back to life and it is impossible to stop him. Humanity, with an invitation from Armenians, entered a new century. Hayk yet again defeated Bel. This is what I saw in Liberty Square, which should now be renamed the square of human liberty.
You mean this is first a civic movement leading to changes in the political sphere?
This is something bigger than the concept of victory. This is a display of the adulation of man and the weakness of evil.
In your view, where will this process lead?
The importance of the appearance alone is so grand that predictions are worthless. It would be like asking an expectant mother what the baby’s profession will be.
Raffi Hovannisian declared his final offer of proposals to Sargsyan, a sort of power-sharing compromise if you will. What are your thoughts?
Raffi Hovannisian is the people’s choice and the light of God now directs him. He is now bearing a very heavy cross of responsibility. There is emptiness on the other side, a sewer clogged up with money. I’ll leave the technical aspects of resolving the issue to the experts.
You will soon be returning to Italy. Do you plan to visit Armenia in the near future?
I am living and God only knows how much time I have left. I strive to be sincere with myself and with that grace that I have been bestowed with.
What is important is not to waste but not to conserve at the same time.
My heart feels the call of Armenia and I am a friend of the heart and I will not let it grow sad. The day will come and the good with it.
It is not the time to grow weak or fall prey to emotions. I continue to be an obedient soldier.