19 September 2014, 21:44
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Curating the Past to Create a More Hopeful Future

Curating a city’s history is no small feat in any city. Yerevan’s History Museum demonstrates to ImYerevan.com how it plans to present the city’s past to current generations with an eye on its future. Deputy Director of the museum, Gevorg Orbelyan, describes to ImYerevan his formula for a modern historiography.

What is the difference between Yerevan's History Museum and the other museums of Armenia?
Since the Soviet period, museum culture has developed greatly in our country. People from other republics visited Armenia and expressed great interest in the city's history. So, our museum was founded in 1931, but it was moved from place to place until in 2005 it was located in a new building of the Municipality. The history of Yerevan from the day of its foundation up today is represented at the museum. There are quite a lot of visitors and recently we have decided to give a new stimulus to the museum initiating a development program jointly with Yerevan Productions.

Wasn’t the museum interesting for visitors anymore?
It wasn't that there was a severe lack of interest, contemporary people and tourists require a different approach. First of all we needed a logo. There were various opinions, we studied the symbols of Yerevan once again and finally we chose a prototype of a Urartian seal with the initial letters of the museum (YHM) in the middle. The new logo is seen in the video made jointly with imyerevan.com, where the new image of the museum, our approaches to the visitors, the combination of the new and old history of Yerevan are presented. The image of Yerevan can’t be full without Tamanyan. In the video, the statue of the architect silently observes the visitors.

What new technologies are there at the museum that might be attractive to tourists and future visitors?
Tourists travel around the world, visiting hundreds of museums. They are bored with traditional methods of exploration that include of a guidebooks and museum stands. Thus, the 3D model of pre-Tamanyan Yerevan is the starting point where visitors begin their exploration. We also present the former living quarters of the city separately, the Hrazdan river and the city colour: carts, yard areas where people used to gather, narrow streets. Then, by means of 3D animation devices we show the process of construction of Republic square.

We also have a 3D model of the city's sights and attractions, alongside a map where visitors can find places of interest, study them, and visually identify with their location to help them not get lost in the city. We have groups of volunteers among students who show performances dressed in national costumes, representing the crafts or everyday life of the city.

How do you use your previous international experience here in Armenia?
I have a narrow specialization, I studied at the department of Museums and Monuments protection of Pedagogical University, after graduation I studied my work at the Yerevan History Museum as a senior researcher. As a result of the years of systematic work I have become a member of ICOM which has 32 thousand members in 136 countries. I take part in the conferences held in various countries, visited many museums in other countries and brought the innovations to Yerevan. I don’t know how it will work but I am sure that in the nearest future we will have a lot of people queued for museum tickets.


Այս հոդվածի հայերեն տարբերակի համար սեղմեք այստեղ։

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