The impressive statue of St. Mesrob and his student, Goryun greeted the Hamazkayin Forum members as they arrived at ‘Madenataran’, the beautiful building where old manuscripts and manuscripts of significant historic value are kept. Statues of Khorenatsi, Goghpatsi and other intellectuals and historians are placed beside each other, on either side of the gate. Whether large or small, handwritten or typed, on cow’s skin or paper, colourful or not, the Armenian culture is rich with its manuscripts and books and tucked away behind each is a story, which when woven together with other stories, forms our history with its triumphs and tribulations; it is definitely worth the visit and we are reminded once again, that no matter how much we learn about our culture, we in fact have that much more to learn.
‘Yergir Media’ was present and interviewed Forum members Sarine, Mariam, Anto and Zabel as the rest continued to take in the explanations provided about the various sections of the building. Some members also visited the works of the famous painter Mardiros Sarian, displayed in the basement of the building.
Following this, the team moved toward the Toumanian museum. Everyone was as impressed by the exterior of the building, as they were by the interior. Toddler shoes were lined up, a pair or two on each of the stairs leading up the entrance of the building. His bust is placed on the outside of the building where participants ran for pictures. Forum members received a tour of the building and got to see his daughter’s Nvart’s room, his dining room and study and tucked away behind closed doors was the impressive collection of over 10,000 books that Toumanian owned and therefore most likely read. Forum members especially enjoyed the animated film of one of his stories ‘The unsuccessful Panos’, but they were sad to learn that there is no trace of the Toumanian family today.
Following lunch at Safran, some visited Vernisage; what followed was a captivating presentation about Armenian paintings and painters of the 19th-20th centuries by Dr. Satenig Choukasezian.
The official part of the day ended with a visit to Grand Sport where Hamazkayin Forum members and the Grand Sport team played against each other and there was no doubt in mind, Hamazkayin Forum prevailed in spirit. Following dinner, everyone returned to the hotel and a special shout out was given to Nareg for his performance during the game. Taking advantage of the Watermelon festival, members of the Forum headed toward ‘Garabi lij’ or Swan Lake for the rest of the night.
Another memorable day at the Forum!