The exhibition "Monuments of Armenian Art" opens in the State Hermitage (a world's major art and cultural-historic museum) on Tuesday. This small exposition (about 15 articles) is devoted to the 1700th anniversary of Armenia's conversion to Christianity, the Hermitage press service told RIA Novosti. The exposition will represent the brightest samples of the Armenian art from the museum's depositaries. The principle exhibit is the silver casket, a famous relic, made in 1293. The casket is decorated with silver plates with texts in the old Armenian language and reliefs. It contained relics of more than 20 saints. The casket had not been discovered for about 500 years. In was found in the surroundings of Alexandria in 1828 and in 1884 it came to the Hermitage from the collection of A.P. Bazilevsky, a great collector of antiquities. Since 1900 the casket was kept in the church of the Winter Palace (the residence of Russian emperors) which sided with the Hermitage. In July 2000 the casket was given to Katholicos Karekin II who took the relic to his residence - the Echmiadzin monastery. The exposition will also represent hachkars (stone crosses or plates with carved images of a cross or a book) and books: the illustrated Cilician Bible of the beginning of the 14th century, the Gospel of 1325 in a silver framework, etc.
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