Rare Armenian Manuscripts Exhibited in Switzerland

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–An exhibition of exquisitely illustrated Armenian man’scripts opened for the first time Tuesday in Switzerland at the Martin Bodmer Foundation in Cologny near Geneva. Swissinfo reported.
The documen’s reveal how ancient and medieval Armenian literature was dominated by both Christian thought and scientific curiosity.
"This exhibition is truly unique," exhibition curator Valentina Calzolari was quoted as saying. "It’s the first time that Armenian man’scripts, a majority of which come from Armenia’s famous library, the Matenadaran, have ever been shown in Switzerland."
Armenia, which shares borders with Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran, is one of the earliest Christian civilizations. It has a rich cultural heritage, the result of being repeatedly invaded and spending many years under Turkish or Persian control. Despite that, the Armenian language and identity has survived largely intact.
Around 40 man’scripts, dating from the ninth to the 17th century, are on display at the "Illuminations of Armenia" exhibition.
The 40 or so man’scripts in the exhibition come from the Matenadaran library in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, the French National Library, the Armenian Mekhitarist Fathers monastery on the San Lazarro Island in Venice, and the Armenian center in Troinex, near Geneva.
The exhibition, which finishes on December 30, 2007, is a collaboration between the Martin Bodmer Foundation, the Armenian Research Center at Geneva University and the Armenian embassy.
The Martin Bodmer Foundation is considered to be one of the greatest private libraries of rare books and man’scripts, dating from ancient times to the present day.

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