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GYUMRI (Armenia), December 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has laid down a wreath to the Monument to the victims of a disastrous Spitak earthquake in the Caucasian republic of Armenia during his state visit to the country on Monday.
The monument was sculpted in Moscow, brought to the Armenian city of Gyumri and was unveiled on December 7, 2008, 20 years after the tragedy. The author of the monument is Russian sculptor of Armenian origin Friedrich Soghoyan.The 8-meter-high pyramid-shaped bronze monument is topped with the image of a woman — The Mother of Armenia, who hugs her two saved children. The bottom of the monument is carrying the inscription, “To innocent victims, merciful hearts.”
Six granite plates are placed under some angle around the monument with the information about destroyed buildings, the number of fatalities and the participants of rescue and restoration works. One of the plates has the text, “The sculptural composition was built with the support of the presidents, the prime ministers and the public of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia with the blessing of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II and the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.”
Strong underground tremors have destroyed the city and the villages in northern regions of Armenia on December 7, 1988. The city of Spitak was almost wiped out from the ground, Leninakan was destroyed completely, Stepanavan was strongly damaged, dozens of villages and other settlements were destroyed. The earthquake claimed 25,000 people, ten thousand families remained homeless.