Mother Armenia Statue from above
The current statue replaces a monumental statue of Joseph Stalin that was created as a victory memorial for the second world war. During Stalin's reign of the Soviet Union, Grigor Harutyunyan, the first secretary of the Armenian Communist Party's Central Committee and members of the government oversaw the construction of the monument which was completed and unveiled to the people on November 29, 1950. The statue was considered a masterpiece of the sculptor Sergey Merkurov. The pedestal was designed by architect Rafayel Israyelian. Realizing that occupying a pedestal can be a short-term honour, Israyelian designed the pedestal to resemble a three-nave basilic Armenian church, as he confessed many years later "Knowing that the glory of dictators is temporary, I have built a simple three-nave Armenian basilic". In contrast to the right-angled shapes of the external view, the interior is light and pleasing to the eye and resembled Echmiadzin's seventh-century St. Hripsime Church. In spring 1962, the statue of Stalin was removed, with one soldier being killed and many injured during the process, and replaced by the Mother Armenia statue, designed by Ara Harutyunyan. "Mother Armenia" has a height of 22 metres, thus making the overall height of the monument 51 metres, including the pedestal. The statue is built of hammered copper while the pedestal-museum is of basalt. source wikipedia
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Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.
The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.
Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!
When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.
Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.
Text by Steve Smith.