Thursday, 17 November 2011

Rome presents the treasures of Dvin, the medieval capital of Armenia

November 15, 2011. (
Twenty years ago, Armenia gained independence from the Soviet Union. To remember this event, Rome has opened its doors to an elaborate exhibition on the city of Dvin, the capital of Armenia between the fifth and ninth centuries.

“It was we used to say the capital linking West and East, and it was the capital of the silk road. The Armenian historian Shirakavan, as I mentioned in my speech, there were six commercial roads going out from the city linking to the silk road and to different parts of the world.”

Dvin had 150,000 inhabitants and was an important trade center during medieval times. But in the year 893 an earthquake destroyed the city. The only thing to survive were different works of art and a memory of the city.

These works of art gives a sense of greatness the society held, displayed by these glass plates and ceramics, crucifixes and pots made of silver and bronze, as well as old coins from the time period and tapestries that tell the life of Christ.

One in particular shows two chapters of the crucifixion and a model of a church sculpted in stone. A bible from the fifth century is also presented, which was the first book written using the Armenian alphabet.

Rouben Karapetian
Ambassador of Armenia to Italy

“We wanted to present a small part of the heritage and the high level of the culture that existed. An art in ceremonies, in a manuscript, in the frescoes and in carpet as you have seen the one 'govelen' of the 8th century of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenia is the first Christian nation in the world, we adopted Christianity in 301. We are also proud to have our small part of some artifacts of the Armenian Church.”

During the inauguration, traditional music was played with an Armenian flute called a 'duduk'. The exhibition is open to the public until January 29, 2012 and is expected to host the President of Armenia in a few weeks.

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