• Opening: 13.03.2018, Tue., 18:30
  • Dates: 14 March 2018 - 29 April 2018
Exhibition: Poetry of Stones, ANI: An Architectural Treasure on Cultural Crossroads

Panel: Ani - A world cultural heritage site in Turkey
14.03.2018, Wed., 18:30, Cezayir


Carsten Paludan-Müller (Former General Director, NIKU - The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research),
Armen Kazaryan (Vice-Director, NIITIAG - The Scientific Research Institute of Theory and History of Architecture and Urban Planning),
Yavuz Özkaya (Restoration Architect),
Vedat Akçayöz (Researcher-Photographer)


This is a long story made short. We want to tell you about the great city of Ani, a remote place from a remote time far from the worlds high-speed urban centers of today. But once upon a time a marvel of a city, located at one of the branches of the Silk Route. Ani flourished in the 10th and 11th century A.D., but it's history reaches much farther back.


As all important trading cities through history, Ani's cultural richness stems from a spectacular interbreeding of cultures. The exhibition will highlight that, as well as the extraordinary examples of Armenian architecture which were created in this diverse environment, to become influential far beyond the region. The splendor is threatened but not lost, still today the city of Ani stands majestic with its walls, churches, monasteries and its mosque. Yet they are ruins in an abandoned city in a barren landscape, leaving the visitor impressed by a sense of history's great tides. Under the city there is a no less impressive underworld - a city under the city carved out in the rocks.


We want to tell you about how experts from Turkey and Armenia have worked together with organizations and experts from other countries in the ongoing effort to save the architectural heritage in and around Ani. It is a Herculean task with so many splendid monuments located in a highly seismic region.


It is our hope that this exhibition will also encourage further international support to save the treasures in and around Ani for future generations. And it is our hope that eventually people will find their way to Ani to enjoy an extraordinary experience of history, culture and landscape.


The city was included on the World Heritage list in 2016.


Carsten Paludan-Müller
Former General Director (2003-2017), NIKU


Project Collaborators: Anadolu Kültür, Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF), Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IHMC RAS).
Project Team: Carsten Paludan-Müller, Armen Kazaryan, Alin Pontioğlu, Yavuz Özkaya, Ashot Mirzoyan, Vedat Akçayöz
Content Development and Exhibition Design: PATTU / Cem Kozar, Işıl Ünal -Team: Pelin Alkan, Onat Müftüoğlu
Photographs: Ara Güler, Martin Manukyan, Murat Germen, Vedat Akçayöz
Exhibition Texts: Armen Kazaryan, Carsten Paludan-Müller, Yavuz Özkaya
Videos: Ümit Kıvanç, Engin Akhisar, Neslihan Koyuncu
Rewriting of the Exhibition Texts: Anna Turay
Coordination: Gökşin Uğur
Translations: Feride Eralp
Collections and Visuals: Ara Güler Arşiv ve Araştırma Merkezi, Atatürk Kitaplığı, Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Prints and Photographic Prints: LamArts Finearts Print, Avrupa Baskı  
Special thanks: Fahriye Bayram, Oya Pancaroğlu, Maria Medvedeva, Gülşah Mursaloğlu, Melis Balcı, Sena Başöz, Yervand Abrahamyan, Tepta Lighting


We would like to thank Norwegian Embassy, NIKU, and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for their contributions.