Armenian Jerusalem
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
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            World-renowned   Armenian   artist   Marie   Balian   spent months   preparing   an   original   mural   as   a   gift   for   the people   of   Jerusalem.   Six   meters   tall   and   four   meters wide,    her    fabulous    artwork    contains    close    to    1,000 colored tiles.             Balian’s   unique   method   involved   sketching   in   charcoal on    the    tiles,    designing    and    painting    them    and    then burning   them   in   the   oven.   Afterwards,   each   was   fit   into the whole picture.                 The    mural    offers    a    view    of    heaven    and    earth separated   by   a   palm   tree,   and   features   a   peacock,   a deer   eating   leaves   from   a   lemon   tree,   a   cypress   waving in    the    wind    and    fish    jumping    out    of    the    water.    No people   appear   in   the   mural,   which   gives   off   a   wonderful aura of serenity.             Balian’s   masterpieces   are   exhibited   all   over   the   world   —   from   the   Eretz   Israel   Museum   of Tel Aviv   to   the   Smithsonian Museum   in   Washington   DC.   But   when   she   proudly   presented   her   creation   to   Jerusalem’s   mayor,   Balian   probably expected   it   to   be   shown   in   a   major   municipal   spot.   Instead,   it   ended   up   on   a   whitewashed   exterior   wall   along   a   run- down, nondescript downtown street (Koresh Street) that few people bother to visit.