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"Khatchkar" 2005

Arsen Panusjan

Cross stone, basalt, 2m x 0.9m x 0.25

Memorial plaque


A Khatchkar is an Armenian cross stone (khatch = cross, kar = stone) known in Armenian culture since the time of early Christianity. Khatchkars were used as ornaments on buildings and monasteries and marked travel routes. The Khatchkar belongs to the original shapes of Armenian art and embodies a synthesis of image, scripture, sculpture and architecture. It has retained its meaning for Armenians and its quality as a symbol for spiritual and religious tolerance until present times. The design of Khatchkars always follows the same basic principle: Subtle ornaments are chiselled into the front face like reliefs. In the centre of these motives, the image of the cross is visible. The rear face is polished in most cases.


The Katchkar in Bremen was made by an Armenian artist in Armenia. The sculpture was erected on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the genocide of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915. A memorial plaque in German and Armenian refers to the murder of 1.5 million people. The stone was donated by the board of directors of Armenians in Germany. Its erection followed an initiative by the former mayor of Bremen, Henning Scherf.


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