Decided it was time to be touristy today and took a tour to Garni temple and Geghard monastery. Garni is actually a Hellenic temple dating back to the 1st Century A.D. built on a hill with scenic views of surrounding canyons and mountains.
Geghard is one of the highlights of Armenia – a monastery from the 4th Century A.D. built into caves in a mountain side. The place has a truly magic atmosphere and an active sacrifice site outside.
Later in the day we met Grigor Katchatrian at the Mkhitar Sebastatsi Art School where he is a head teacher and spoke to him about his educational activities and his work as a performance/conceptual artist. During the summer months the school acts as a project/gallery space for local and international artists and curators. This year it was also home to the AICA curators summer school.
Today we tried to find the Museum of Modern Art using our battered copy of Lonely Planet. Sadly it seemed it was closed for renovation. Opening in the 70s it was the first of its kind in the Soviet Union.
Cafesjian Museum Foundation was next where we met Nune Torosyan and Karen and Michael De Marsche who are managing the reconstruction of the Cascade and the new contemporary art museum to be situated inside. Karen gave us an extensive tour of the site and it looks very impressive. The museum will focus on contemporary glass art based on Mr. Cafesjian’s extensive collection. It will also host temporary art exhibitions and jazz concerts.
In the evening we went to NPAK again for a private view followed by a dinner at the Balassanian’s where we had an opportunity to meet and talk to more Armenian and international artists and try Sonia’s delicious home cooking.