Back in Business: State Gallery opens following renovation

Back in Business: State Gallery opens following renovation
By Gayane Abrahamyan, ArmeniaNow arts reporter

28 May 2004

After a three-year recess for repairs, the State Gallery of Armenia
has reopened, renewed by some $450,000 makeover sponsored by the
Lincy Foundation.

The State Gallery is open again after three years..

Government officials and art and culture personalities greeted the
refurbished gallery in opening ceremonies on May 18.

Gallery director Paravon Mirzoyan said the 83-year old gallery follows only
Moscow and St. Petersburg in terms of value among galleries of the former
Soviet Union.

“The Gallery is a road for showing and demonstrating our uniqueness and
originality to the world,” said Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan.

The gallery had never been refurbished since it opened in 1921 and art
lovers were concerned, not just for the condition of the building (which
anchors Republic Square), but for the artifacts it holds.

Now, from basement to roof, repairs have been made. Some windows were
removed and covered over, increasing display space, but also protecting
paintings from harsh sunlight. Additions to the gallery include a gift shop
on the second floor, and a café on the ninth.

The National Gallery, founded on the efforts of Ruben Drambyan and Martiros
Saryan, is home to more than 25,000 works.

The Armenian section of the gallery includes sixth and seventh century
murals, sculptures and religious icons as well as works of 19 th- and 20
th-century artists. Foreign sections include painting by Chagal, Rembrandt,
Van Gogh and others.

While construction workers were busy making repairs, National Gallery
scientific and research staff were also busy, publishing 12 albums and
calendars of collections found in the gallery.