The Cafesjian Center for the Arts in Armenia (Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz for The New York Times)

Some 20,000 Armenians turned up for the opening of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts… They jammed the new sculpture park and the terraced gardens and galleries, including the first exhibition ever in Armenia of the Armenian-born American great, Arshile Gorky.

The center, a mad work of architectural megalomania and historical recovery, is one of the strangest but most memorable museum buildings to open in ages. Imagine an Art Deco version of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon stretching nearly the height of the Empire State Building, its decorations coded with Armenian symbolism.

Did I mention the artificial waterfalls?

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Michael Kimmelman
New York Times

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