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Mother Armenia - the monumental statue in Victory Park, Yerevan, Armenia.
Joseph Stalin's statue
Статуя Иосифа Сталина
Stalin's statue. Photo by I. Rubenchik (TASS). 19 March 1951
Stalin's statue. Photo by I. Rubenchik (TASS). 19 March 1951
Location: Victory Park, Yerevan, Armenian SSR, USSR
Founded: 29 November, 1950
Restored: 1967
Architect: Rafayel Israyelian, Sergey Merkurov
Governing body: Defence Minister of Soviet Armenia

Mother Armenia (Armenian: Մայր Հայաստան Mayr Hayastan) is the female personification of Armenia. Her most visual rendering is a monumental statue in Victory Park overlooking the capital city of Yerevan, Armenia.

Mayr Hayastan - Victory Park Statue

The current statue replaces a monumental statue of Joseph Stalin that was created as a victory memorial for the Great Patriotic 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 the architect Raphael Israelian. Realizing that occupying a pedestal can be a short-term honor, Israelyan designed the pedestal to resemble an Armenian church - at least on the inside. In contrast to the right-angled shapes of the outside, inside was light and pleasing to the eye and resembled Echmiadzin's seventh-century St. Hripsime Church.

In 1967 the statue of Stalin was removed (with two workers being killed during the process) and replaced by the Mother Armenia statue, designed by Ara Harutyunyan.[1]

The Statue's Symbolism

The Mother Armenia statue symbolises peace through strength. It can remind viewers of some of the prominent female figures in Armenian history, such as Sose Mayrig and others, who took up arms to help their husbands in their clashes with Turkish troops and Kurdish irregulars. It also recalls the important status and value attributed to the older female members of an Armenian family.

Its strategic location of being on a hill overlooking Yerevan makes it look like she is the guardian of the Armenian capital. Each May 9, thousands walk past the statue of Mother Armenia to commemorate Armenia's war dead. Inside the 50 metre tall pedestal is the Mother Armenia Museum of the Ministry of Defense. When first built, it was a military museum containing exhibits about World War II. Now a large proportion of the exhibition space is devoted to the Nagorno-Karabakh War of the 1980-90s. There are personal belongings, weapons and documents of the heroes and walls are decorated with their portraits. There is a historical map on which Armenian forces worked for the capture of Shushi, among other historical artifacts.

References

  1. ^ "Mother" watches over her people on Victory Day and all others

Coordinates: 40°11′42.90″N 44°31′29.34″E / 40.19525°N 44.5248167°E / 40.19525; 44.5248167

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