Fabulous mural by Armenian artist Marie Balian one of Jerusalem’s hidden gems

A fabulous mural produced by world renowned Armenian artist Marie Balian decorates the whitewashed exterior wall at 14 Coresh Street in Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Post reports that she spent months preparing an original creation as a gift for the enjoyment of the residents of the city. She presented it to the mayor, who stuck it on a wall along one of the city’s most rundown, nondescript, least traveled byways.

Yet it is one of the most splendid features of the city and one of Jerusalem’s dozens of out of- the-way or unusual highlights that Israelis call pinot, or corners.

In 1918, the first British military governor of Jerusalem brought two Armenian families – the Balians and the Karkashians – to Jerusalem from Turkey to renovate the ceramic tiles at the Dome of the Rock. Four years later, they established the first Armenian pottery in Jerusalem. The two families eventually parted ways amicably, with the Balians remaining on Nablus Road (where one can watch the process of tile-making in their workshop). Marie, who is well into her 90s, was born in Turkey.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS