2010 / Berj A. Shakarian / Cleveland
The Armenian Alphabet and surrounding cultural garden was conceptualized by Cleveland's Armenian Cultural Garden Delegation in 2007 and installed in 2010. The garden's design takes the form of a symbol named "vesica piscis", which represents Christ as well as Armenia's historical and cultural identity as the first Christian nation. The Armenian Alphabet sculpture takes the form of stacked and staggered granite blocks, representing Armenia's mountainous terrain and turbulent political history. The Armenian alphabet was invented in 404 CE in order to translate the bible into Armenian, and the Armenian Cultural Garden Delegation describes this alphabet as the "secret code" that ties all Armenians together, defining their unique identity. The blocks are engraved with the names of 33 historical and contemporary figures known for their significant contributions to Armenian culture.