AIWA, Armenian Library Celebrate Women’s Month


Prof. Christina Maranci

WATERTOWN — The Armenian Museum of America and the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) are partnering up in March to celebrate Women’s History Month. The two organizations will be co-hosting a Community Brunch and conversation with Professor Christina Maranci, of Tufts University, on Saturday, March 4, at 11 a.m.

An authority on medieval Armenian art and architecture, Maranci in recent years has embarked on a crusade to save a historic 7th century church located in a remote area of eastern Turkey. Mren Cathedral is a product of the “Golden Age” of Armenian architecture and is considered a masterpiece of world art.

Although Mren Cathedral has stood for over a millennium, bearing world history on its elaborately sculptured walls, Maranci points out that it is now on the verge of collapse. The south façade has been crumbling in recent decades, severely compromising the domed structure of the monument and opening the interior and its wall paintings to the elements.

Maranci has spearheaded a successful effort to have the cathedral listed on World Monuments Watch, to raise awareness about the site’s artistic and cultural significance. In 2015, with support from the US Department of State’s Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, preliminary documentation and analysis of the cathedral took place, leading to the development of an emergency conservation plan for the site. However, stabilizing what is left of the church is a challenging endeavor, not only because it is located in a military zone in Kars province, near the closed Turkish-Armenian border but also because it is so remote, in an area lacking paved roads and surrounded by a high rocky plateau and deep river gorges and ravines. It is only with great difficulty that Maranci has been able to visit the area.

This Women’s History Month event provides an opportunity to celebrate the professional contributions of women in the Boston community and to enjoy a buffet brunch in the 3rd floor galleries of the museum.

The brunch is open to the public and tickets are available with a $15 donation. AIWA and Museum members are invited to attend for free as guests of the two organizations. Proceeds from the event will be put toward hosting more women’s events for the community in the future.

Guests and members may RSVP for the event by calling the Armenian Museum offices or contacting AIWA at [email protected].