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[Armenian Life]: Cavern Gallery.

September 9, 2010

By Levon Lachikyan

Both the Vayots Dzor and Syunik regions of Southern Armenia encapsulate some of nature’s unique expressions and history dating back millennia. Humans have lived in these areas since the fifth century and it is truly remarkable that even today they still reveal the details of our ancestors.

For instance, the world’s oldest leather shoe of more than 5,500 years was found perfectly preserved in a cave in the village of Areni in Vayots Dzor. Researchers call this area “Archaeological El Dorado.” The microclimate of the caves in this area is favorable; it seems that nothing in them corrodes much over time, even ancient bunches of grapes.

There are more than 10000 of such caves in Goris region and people used to dwell in them up until about a century ago. Three years ago Jerair Martirosyan decided to convert one of the caves into a workshop, something he views as unprecedented. Jerair was born in Goris in 1957. In 1980, he graduated from Terlemezyan Institute in Yerevan. He is currently the director of Goris City Gallery and the head of the Artist Union of Armenia. He’s fully furnished the cave, installed a door as well as electricity. He paints and also exhibits his works in its front section.

Jearir Martirosyan

Jirair Martirosian

Credit: Levon Lachikyan

Both Armenians and foreigners frequently visit Jerair’s cave gallery. The most recent guests include Switzerland’s Ambassador to Armenia Lorenzo Amberg and film director Atom Egoyan. Perhaps this unique and inspirational workshop will one day makes its way into one of this director’s films.  

Visitors of Cavern Gallery

Visitors of Cavern Gallery

Credit: Levon Lachikyan

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