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Lecture uncovers stories behind artifacts from Istanbul's Armenian Orthodox Churches

February 8, 2013

There is a story behind the artful objects recovered from the Armenian Orthodox churches of Istanbul, Turkey, and it is more than just the metal, stone and wood many are fashioned from. Ronald Marchese, Ph.D., will discuss what these artifacts tell about the history and intense spiritual convictions of Christians in an otherwise Muslim-dominated world during a Loyola University New Orleans lecture Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m.

The lecture is set for Nunemaker Auditorium located on the third floor of Monroe Hall on Loyola’s main campus. It is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Classical Studies program and the New Orleans Society of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Marchese, professor of ancient history & archaeology at The University of Minnesota/Duluth, has spent the last several years documenting and cataloguing artwork from these churches. His work, illustrated by the colorful photos that will accompany his lecture, is uncovering the hidden wonders of hundreds of years of Armenian society in ancient Constantinople—now modern-day Istanbul.

The objects, although originally never meant for a museum or book, were primarily intended to serve, honor and glorify God. They defined a unique genre of religious art called the “Constantinople Style,” which reflected the opulence and grandeur of the city Armenians came to cherish as their own.

Marchese’s most recent book, “Splendor and Pageantry: Textile Treasures from the Armenian Orthodox Churches of Istanbul,” was selected best among 15 different entries by the Textile Society of America, and received the annual R. L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award for its significant contribution to the study of these churches.

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