Marianna Grigoryan and Anahit Hayrapetyan 11/13/09
A EurasiaNet Photo Story
They have built roads and hospitals; schools and factories. And now, with the recent opening of Yerevan’s $35 million Cafesjian Center for the Arts, members of Armenia’s deep-pocketed Diaspora has moved into modern art.
The 1,100-square meter museum, which officially opened its doors on November 7, is part of a seven-year project by Armenian-American Gerard L. Cafesjian, a former member of the board of directors for West Publishing Company, to restore downtown Yerevan’s Soviet-era Cascade, a waterfall-like stone staircase built into a hillside overlooking the capital city. It acts as both vanity project - the bulk of the exhibits will be drawn from Cafesjian’s own collections of contemporary art - and community goodwill initiative; the Center, a first for the region, is meant to promote appreciation of modern art forms.
One milestone apparently deserves another - on hand to kick off the Center’s opening were ex-Beatles wives Cynthia Lennon and Pattie Boyd.
Busily signing copies of "John," her 2005 account of her six-year marriage to Beatles icon John Lennon, Cynthia Lennon described herself as "surprised" by the invitation, but "happy to come."