One of the most characteristic elements of Yerevan is the Cascade, 500 steps of limestone, leading to the Monument commemorating 50 years of Soviet rule. With the collapse of the Soviet Union this project was never finished, and the Cascade deteriorated afterwards, until, in 2002, the Cafesjian Family Foundation, from a rich Armenian diaspora family, was brought in. They renovated the complex and established the Cafesjian Centre of the Arts (https://www.cmf.am/), with exhibits both outside, on the various platforms of the Cascade, as well as inside, along the escalator that brings people – almost – to the top. The Centre, opened in 2009 and freely accessible, displays an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, mostly sculptures and furniture.
Having said this, there is the occasional question popping up. Like, at the bottom of the escalator I enthusiastically pointed at a work seemingly by Alexander Calder. But no, it is by Manuel Marin, a Spanish sculpturer. Who has been convicted of art forgery. Of Alexander Calder. And David Martin’s sculptures of three divers have a uncanny resemblance of the work Critical Mass (1995) that Antony Gormley exhibited in The Netherlands recently.
In front of the Cascade and the Centre is a park, which acts as an extension to the Centre, with large-scale sculptures from internationally renown artists along the sides. The park is named after Alexander Tamanyan, the architect who stood at the base of modern Yerevan. His sculpture has been placed at the front of the park.