Armenian President helps restore fresco at St. Mesrop Mashtots Church

President Armen Sarkissian has helped restore the “Glory to Armenian Alphabet and Schooling” fresco at St. Mesrop Mashtots Church in Oshakan.

The President visited the church today accompanied by wife Nouneh Sarkissian.

Last year, the Aragatsotn Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church applied to the President of the Republic with a request to assist in the restoration of the mural. The fresco with three-dimensional composition, considered one of the best works of Armenian monumental art of the twentieth century, was painted by Hovhannes Minasyan and Henrik Mamyan in 1964-1966. It was significantly damaged due to moisture, in some parts the paint layer became dusty, spilled, the dust layer darkened, the colors of the frescoes faded over time.

Arzhanik Hovhannisyan, Head of the Mural Restoration Research Center, who carried out the restoration work, presented the restored work, noting that the “Glory to Armenian Alphabet and Schooling” mural is one of the best examples of Armenian frescoes of the 20th century.

The Primate of the Aragatsotn Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, His Grace T. Bishop Mkrtich Proshyan and Fr. Vigen Manukyan, Pastor of St. Mesrop Mashtots Church in Oshakan, thanked President Sargsyan for his commitment to save this gem of art and to complete the work.

The heirs of the authors of the mural, Martin Minasyan and Lusin Mamyan, noted that they followed the work with great enthusiasm. Expressing gratitude to President Armen Sarkissian, the Aragatsotn Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church and specialists, Martin Minasyan said: “The group of devotees led by Arzhanik Hovhannisyan did a wonderful job.”

“Our parents created this work with dedication and love. It is very important for my heirs that it was restored. We are grateful for this great and cherished work. “I think all those for whom Armenian culture, its development and preservation are of great importance will be grateful,” said Henrik Mamyan’s daughter.

Oshakan St. Mesrop Mashtots Church was built in the 19th century on the tomb of Mesrop Mashtots. The “Glory to Armenian Alphabet and Schooling” mural is in line with the traditions of Armenian miniature painting, medieval sculpture and fresco painting. The fresco on the western wall depicts Mesrop Mashtots holding the newly created alphabet. The fresco is divided into two parts by an arched window. The Armenian alphabet is written on the glass.

As part of the restoration work, a lighting system was installed to ensure full visibility of the mural.

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