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By Gayane Danielian

Thousands of people gathered near the Opera House in Yerevan on Tuesday to attend the funeral of famous poetess and outstanding public figure Silva Kaputikian.

Many of admirers of her poetry, among them thousands of ordinary people, Diaspora Armenians, as well as politicians, came to bid farewell to the women on the poetry of which generations of Armenians were raised both in Armenia and abroad.

The funeral was organized by a government-appointed commission led by Prime Minister Andranik Markarian.

“It is a great loss not only for our literature, but also for the people. An intellectual who left us precepts about our fatherland, language, about national values died,” Markarian said in his speech at the funeral.

The poetess, who died last Friday, at the age of 87, is known for her active civil position both in the communist times when she was in the forefront of the Karabakh movement and also in the post-independence years when, as her friends and colleagues say, she was not afraid to raise a voice of protest against what she considered to be unjust and unfair.

Kaputikian returned the Mesrop Mashtots Order she received from the state for her merits as a poetess and public figure after the authorities used violence against peaceful demonstrators in April 2004.

“When such people leave our lives, it is a loss for the entire nation. And today I want to express my condolences to the whole nation,” Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosian said about the poetess.

Head of the National Assembly’s Standing Commission on Science, Education and Culture Affairs Hranush Hakobian said Kaputikian will stay in the memory of Armenians as their national poetess. “She lived a glorious life and the state and the nation is saying good-bye to her in a solemn way,” she said.

His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II was also among those who came to bid farewell to Kaputikian.

When the coffin with Kaputikian’s body was to be placed onto a catafalque on Abovian Street, a group of people volunteered to carry ‘the great daughter of the nation’ to the cemetery on their shoulders, and they led the procession for about two kilometers to the Komitas Pantheon where Kaputikian was buried next to great Armenian composer Aram Khachatrian.

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