The 13th Century St. George Church of Church of Haftevan is on the verge of collapsing and little is being done to preserve this historical monument.
This was an email sent by Alexandra Avakian, a Haftevan native when she visited the region back in 2005 .
URGENT ---To the Press Representatives of Catholicos Aram 1:
Greetings. This is Alexandra Avakian, the photographer. We met on April 24 in Der Zor.
As an American Armenian descendant of a leading family of Haftvan, Iran and surrounding villages (Salmast region), I would like to bring attention to the state of the church in Haftvan which my family built, and especially to the Armenian graveyard there. The church and graveyard have been repeatedly looted, though they are protected historic sites under the Iranian Government. The local Azeris and Kurds, who dominate this part of Iran now, have repeatedly ripped open the Armenian graves and desecrated the graveyard looking for gold. It needs better protection as it is in a derelict and sad state indeed. I visited the graves and church several times while working on the National Geographic cover story in July 1999. Since the Catholicos is still in Iran, it would be great if it could be raised with the appropriate authorities.
Thank you very much for your attention to this disturbing matter,
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