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Foundation of Tekeyan Centre

Armenia, the 1990s... Years of indescribable difficulties, hardships, warfare and economic blockade. Years when Armenians were striving to survive and Armenian culture was critically endangered. At this particular moment, London Tekeyan Trust had the idea of establishing a cultural centre which would revive Armenian art and literature, science and education which would contribute to uniting all Armenians.

Initially the plan of London Tekeyan Trust was to establish this centre in London, however after several fruitless attempts, in 1991 a decision was made to realize the project in the Motherland.

In 1992 London Tekeyan Trust embarked on purchasing and reconstructing the famous "Krunk" restaurant located in the heart of the city of Yerevan. This was once one of the most favourite entertainment places of Yerevan but in those hard times it had sunk into oblivion. For those days it was extraordinary that a place that once had been a place of parties and entertainment was turned into a cultural institution.

To turn the dream into a reality LTT Chairman Garo Krikorian and the Honorary Secretary Vartan Ouzounian initiated unprecedented fundraising involving large circles of the Diaspora. H.Ouzounian, one of the founding members of the Tekeyan Cultural Association, A.Tovmassian, N.Khatchadourian, S.Krikorian, T.Avakian, Y.Azadian and many others have significantly contributed to this patriotic initiative.

Fundraising was organized within the Tekeyan Cultural Associations in Europe, the Middle East and the USA. Armenians from all over the world responded to the call and made their contributions to the project aimed at preserving Armenian culture. Numerous large donations were pledged.

In 1993 a talented architect Oleg Shokarev, who had designed the original building of the "Krunk" restaurant, undertook the planning and reconstruction. In order to immortalize the great Armenian poet Vahan Tekeyan it was decided to call the building Tekeyan Centre. The control and supervision of the construction work, that required great efforts and personal sacrifice, was carried out by Vartan Ouzounian.

In October 1997, Tekeyan Centre was officially opened. The opening ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials of the Armenian government, representatives from the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, honourable guests, benefactors, donors, and many friends from the Diaspora and Armenia due to whose efforts this project came to reality. The event was especially notable due to the fact that it was part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Tekeyan Cultural Association.

Oleg Shokarev was awarded as "The Best Architect of the Year" by the Mayor of Yerevan and the building received the title of the "Best Public Building of Yerevan". After its modernization it is still one of the best buildings in Yerevan.

Tekeyan Centre was to become the first business center of Yerevan, hosting many famous companies. The halls of the Centre are used for international conferences, official receptions, press conferences, seminars, consultations, presentations and exhibitions. In a short period Tekeyan Centre gained popularity and importance in Yerevan.

The official opening ceremony of Tekeyan Centre took place before the completion of the construction work. The donations were not enough to complete the project, so the TC Board of Trustees made a decision to take a loan from HSBC Armenia Bank, and later from UBS Geneva. These loans were totally paid in 2008.

In 2001 Tekeyan Centre as a not for profit LLC registered anew as Tekeyan Centre Fund.

Unfortunately, the loans did not allow the Fund to make serious financial contributions to realize its aims set forth in the Statutes. Nevertheless Tekeyan Centre continued to assist the TCA of Armenia, providing office space, halls to organize presentations, exhibitions, contests and other events. Likewise it has also assisted other NGOs and private persons.

Currently Tekeyan Centre operates more fully as a Fund, and has the possibility to realize its statutory aims of assisting culture, education and science by increasing the efficiency of the activities of the Fund. In this respect, the Fund looks forward to cooperating with benefactors and donors with regard to funding its projects.