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IDEA

"Renaissance" cultural and intellectual foundation announces a sculpting competition, dedicated to the poem "Book of Lamentations" by Saint Gregory of Narek. The participant sculptors can be from Armenia, as well as from other countries in the world. The memorial statue will be located in the very heart of the capital: in the adjacent area of Katoghike Holy Mother of God Church and the newly built Saint Anna church, and will become a unique combination of freedom, spiritual and secular worlds.

ST. GRIGOR NAREKATSI (Gregory of Narek) (circa 947 - 1003) - Armenian poet, exegete, musician, celebrated saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the youngest son of Bishop Khosrow Andzevatsi. Supposedly, he was either born in the village of Narek (in the province of Vaspurakan of the Rshtunik region), or in the region of Andzevatsik.

He got his education and underwent preparation for becoming a celibate priest at the high school of the Monastery of Narek, under the tutorship of abbot and headmaster Anania Narekatsi (most probably, the son of Grigor's maternal grandfather's brother). Mastering both translated and independent spiritual-philosophical literature of the school, Grigor Narekatsi later became on of the cornerstones of the aforesaid school. Grigor Narekatsi is famous for his rich theological heritage. He is considered to be the apex of Armenian spiritual thought. His creative heritage dating back to 10th century is thought to be one of the best pieces in the range of international literature. In 2016, he was recognized as 36th ecumenical Vardapet of Catholic Church.

More information on the heritage of Grigor Narekatsi and his biography can be found on our website.

The most famous literary work of the saint is his poem “Book of Lamentations”, which has become one of the most important theological works in the world. It was written back in 10th century, and has been preserved for more than 1000 years now, becoming one of the most important reflections of Armenian identity. As indicated in the preface, the book was written on the request or by order of many brothers and hermits. In this sense, the work is the crystallization of ascetic lifestyle, a quest for perfection for many people as well as spiritual ideals of the time. The book has been considered to have a miraculous and healing power, so the book is linked to many stories of amazing transformations of human life. It is a book of prayers with a deep theological-counselling content. It is noteworthy that "Narek" is not a monologue per se, but a dialogue with God. The book deconstructs all conservative and ingrained concepts that define the final state of man,- the guilt. It is an outstanding work due to its amazing freedom in conversations with God. 

ORGANIZER

“Renaissance” Cultural and Intellectual foundation announces a competition for the erection of “Book of Lamentations” by St. Gregory of Narek monument. The foundation has been operating since 2013 and is engaged in preserving, developing and sharing Armenian intellectual and cultural heritage. The foundation has initiated and implemented many projects that have contributed to the spread of Armenian culture and heritage all over the world. Moreover, by means of educational programmes, it has demonstrated the importance of the Armenian intellectual heritage internationally. Among many projects, we can highlight Armenian Wikipedia’s development program, specifically "One Armenian, one article" campaign, "Saroyan House" project, Armenian National Music Treasury, etc.