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“This building has been reconstructed by Hayastan All-Armenian Fund, Armenian General Benevolent Union and the funds provided by the people during Loris Tjeknavorian’s 1991 pilgrimage to Gyumri”. This sentence is written on the plaque at the entrance of the building unofficially called Academy of Fine Arts, which houses the Gyumri branches of three state art institutions of Yerevan. Yerevan Fine Arts Academy’s Gyumri branch celebrated its 10th anniversary yesterday. This educational center, which started with less than 10 students 10 years ago, today has 192 future specialists in its six departments. Some of them have already gained popularity. An exhibition of the students’ works kicked off in the halls of the Gyumri branch on the day of the celebration. Various works – fine arts, graphics, sculptures, ornaments, textile designs, etc – exhibited in the halls are the evidence of the productivity of the academy. RA Education and Science Minister Levon Mkrtchian, Rector of Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts Aram Isabekian, AGBU Armenian Representation Director Ashot Ghazarian, other officials, local authorities, and representatives of higher educational institutions were present at the festive event at the “Hoktember” movie theater of Gyumri. Underscoring the importance of establishment of such an educational center for the rebirth of the city in those difficult years and expressing gratitude to the investors for this risky initiative RA Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchian said with satisfaction that thanks to these people today Gyumri has an institute of higher education corresponding to all international standards. The rector of the Yerevan State University handed in scientific titles of docent to some of the lecturers of the academy, thanks to whom the academy made its first steps 10 years ago. “I’m very glad that the building, which reminded a pile of stones back in 1994, breaths today and creates art. It reflects the soul of the people of Gyumri – fine arts, music and theater. These are things that have always been strongly characteristic for the people of Gyumri and have fed our culture. I remember the days when this building was half-ruined and a sign on it said, “An Arts Academy will be built here”. People used to bring their children here even before it was fully built. And I remember once I heard a woman saying, “My child will study here”. Thanks God the AGBU had the opportunity of investing here and establishing this cultural center”, said Ashot Ghazarian, AGBU Armenian Representation Director. “We are so happy”, said Aram Isabekian, “The establishment of this department, as well as the other two, were of vital importance back in the 1990’s. The atmosphere in Gyumri after the disastrous earthquake was very depressing, people felt abandoned. And even though there were a lot of other unsolved issues then, time proved that the establishment of such a cultural center was a very right decision. It brought enthusiasm to the city, to the youth. And today we have a 10-year-old beautiful cultural center. I want to mention with admiration about our lecturers working in Gyumri, amazing painters, wonderful people, who organized all this work, who overcame all the difficulties. And certainly, I would like to underscore the great contribution of the Armenian General Benevolent Union in all this”. The same day the participants of the event had the chance to see the exhibition of the works of the academy lecturers organized in the Aslamazian Sisters Hall.



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