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Yerevan: Armenian manuscripts conserved in Florence now on show

Three Armenian manuscripts from Florence dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries are now on display at the Matenadaran Museum in Yerevan thanks to the efforts of the Italian Embassy and the Italian Research Council (CNR). The exhibition is a perfect mix of science, art, history and technology and, thanks to spearheading techniques developed by the CNR based in Pisa, it is possible to appreciate the incisiveness and wealth of the message contained in the Armenian codes. These manuscripts were kept in Italy for centuries and more recently in Florence, and are now on show at the Matenadaran Museum, the temple of Armenian memory and culture.

The documents are the following: a 1213 illuminated ordination ritual from Cilicia, a 1353 Roman missal copied in Pisa and a manuscript containing a Dominican breviary and the Psalter book of psalms, copied in Buda in 1369. Anna Rita Fantoni, the director of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana – the magnificent Michelangelesque place where these manuscripts are conserved – and former deputy director of the San Marco Library where two of these manuscripts are kept, narrates the story of their journey through the centuries and the cultural reasons that motivated them. The images and texts are accompanied by a multimedia interactive description to show how science is a formidable instrument through which to disseminate their knowledge to younger generations.