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The western part of green belt

The part of the green belt not already covered in this walk is perhaps not as attractive as the northern section but it nevertheless has some worthwhile sculptures and offers the opportunity to see a slightly less sophisticated side of Yerevan life - men playing chess or backgammon and children playing open-air table tennis, for example. From the statue of Mamikonian continue along the green belt instead of turning left to Vernissage.

bronze statue by Nikoghayos Nikoghosian of Mikayel Nalbandian (1829-1866)The first sculpture encountered is a basalt statue, by Artashes Hovsepian, of the composer Armen Tigranian, holding perhaps the musical score of his best-known opera Anoush. The next, after walking through an area of cafes and across Sayat Nova Avenue, is a bronze monument by Nikoghayos Nikoghosian to the poet Eghishe Charents, the pain depicted in the sculpture echoing his life. Shortly after this on the right is the Yerevan State University. It is probably best to stay on this side and use the underpass to negotiate the new road which crosses the green belt before returning to it to find the bronze statue, also by Nikoghayos Nikoghosian, of Mikayel Nalbandian (1829-1866) who looks out across the street bearing his name. Nalbandian - writer, philosopher, journalist and poet (the words of Armenia's national anthem are adapted from one of his poems) - was a revolutionary democrat who travelled widely throughout Europe, visiting Warsaw, Berlin, Paris, London and Constantinople. Returning to Russia he was imprisoned in the Peter and Paul fortress in St Petersburg by the Tsarist government, spending three years in solitary confinement. He was subsequently exiled to a remote area 500 miles southeast of Moscow and died of TB in prison aged 37. In A Reference Guide to Modern Armenian Literature, Kevork Bardakjian (Professor of Armenian Language & Literature, University of Michigan) described Nalbandian as 'an outspoken publicist whose lively and bold style, at times crude and arrogant, was almost invariably laced with irony'. The sculptor seems to have caught the essence of the man. The final statue on this part of the green belt is by Yuri Petrosian. Set in bronze it depicts the painter Hovhannes Aivasovsky, well known for his dramatic seascapes. He stands, palette in hand, amongst the waves.

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