The modern museum formula

Presenting the centuries-old history of Yerevan in a three-storey building wasn’t a simple task, however it isn’t easy to amaze a contemporary person with a number of old photos of the city and the items found during archaeological excavations. What is to be done to create a queue in front of the booking office of a museum, to make visiting museums a part of urban culture? The deputy director of the Yerevan History Museum Gevorg Orbelyan found the simple formula of this difficult question.


– What is the difference between Yerevan History Museum and other museums of Armenia?
–    Since the Soviet period museum culture has developed greatly in our country; people from other republics visited Armenia and got particularly interested in history. Our museum was founded in 1931, it was moved from place to place until in 2005 it was located in a new building of the Municipality. The history of Yerevan from the day of its foundation up today is represented at the museum. There are quite a lot of visitors and recently we have decided to give a new stimulus to the museum initiating a development program jointly with “Yerevan production”.

–    Wasn’t the museum interesting for visitors anymore?
–    There was no lack of interest but a contemporary man, especially a tourist needs a new approach. First of all we needed a logo. There were various opinions, we studied the symbols of Yerevan once again and finally we chose a prototype of a Urartian seal with the initial letters of the museum (YHM) in the middle. The new logo is seen in the video made jointly with, where the new image of the museum, our approaches to the visitors, the combination of the new and old history of Yerevan are presented in the video. The image of Yerevan can’t be full without Tamanyan:in the video the architect is watching the visitors silently.


– What new technologies are there at the museum which can attract visitors making the Yerevan History Museum a part of tourist route?

-Tourist travel around the world, visit tens, even hundreds of museums and get bored with the old conception of a guide-a museum stand-explanation. The model of Yerevan of pre-Tamanyan period placed on the first floor of the museum we made into the 3D format and made it the place from where visitors are to start the excursion. Besides, now we present the old living quarters of the city separately, the Hrazdan river and the city colour: carts, yard areas where people used to gather, narrow streets. Then by means of 3D animation devices we show the process of construction of Republic square.


We also have a 3d model of the sights of the city and its map where the visitors can find places of interest, study them, get the visual idea of their location and not to get lost in our city. We have groups of volunteers among students who show performances dressed in national costumes, representing the crafts or everyday life of the city.


– How do you use the international experience in Armenia?
-I have a narrow specialization, I studied at the department of Museums and Monuments protection of Pedagogical University, after graduation I studied my work at the Yerevan History Museum as a senior researcher. As a result of the years of systematic work I have become a member of ICOM which has 32 thousand members in 136 countries. I take part in the conferences held in various countries, visited many museums in other countries and brought the innovations to Yerevan. I don’t know how it will work but I am sure that in the nearest future we will have a lot of people queued for museum tickets.