First Museum of Illusions in Armenia Open in Gyumri - Mediamax.am

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First Museum of Illusions in Armenia Open in Gyumri


Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Grisha Amirkhanyan and  Mesrop Hakobyan
Grisha Amirkhanyan and Mesrop Hakobyan

Photo: Museum of Illusions


Brain entertainment: this is how museums of illusions are often called. Everyone is seeking to offer unusual, unique solutions, and the optical illusions, laws of physics, quests and puzzles with geometric images make people immerse in this world and discover something new.

Photo: Museum of Illusions

So why go to another country if you can train and entertain your brain in your home country? This concept was elaborated into a business idea bringing the two friends together.

 

- I have visited museums of illusions in various countries, and so has Grisha. We met one day and shared our impressions. We were telling about the museums and people around were getting very enthusiastic looking forward to the opportunity to travel abroad and see such exciting places.  Soon, we decided to translate our enthusiasm into a viable concept: to establish a museum of illusions in Armenia, offering such opportunity to our compatriots -says Mesrop Hakobyan, inviting us to see the already opened museum. 

Grisha Amirkhanyan and  Mesrop Hakobyan Grisha Amirkhanyan and Mesrop Hakobyan

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Mesrop Hakobyan, who has a background in engineering and Grisha Amirkhanyan who is an economist have been to 8 museums of illusions all over the world, meeting  the founders, who shared their experience and knowledge with them, and then they developed their own concept.

Photo: Museum of Illusions

-Though the exhibits may seem fun at first sight, however, there is science behind them. The venues offering a combination of education and fun or the so-called “Edutainment” centers are becoming more and more popular all over the world. The museum of illusions is a good example of combining science and entertainment. So, our museum is one of those places, - says Grisha Amirkhanyan, showing the first exhibits.

Photo: Museum of Illusions

About 50 exhibits  inspired by physics, mathematics, psychology may seem ordinary at first glance, but in reality these are "magical" rooms where one can get surprised, have fun, experiment, test,  as well as brush up on the school curriculum knowledge, make findings through new experiments and try to find other illustrations of these findings in other well-known аs well as unknown fields. And for school students it is a wonderful place to feel, touch and test the things they read about in their textbooks.

 

From Idea to Business

 

- We had extensive discussions on the idea of establishing a museum of illusions and studied the experience of various countries.  We drafted the concept and it was ready and well-elaborated in detail, but in reality, it was really very hard to the make the first step -says Grisha.

Photo: Museum of Illusions

The EU4Bsusines “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” (ITTD) project implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and co-funded by the EU and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) helped the friends to take a step forward.

Photo: Museum of Illusions

- Initially we were considering the option of having the museum either in Yerevan or in Gyumri. When applying for the grant, we had a clear decision that our idea should be realized in Gyumri. The town has turned into a popular touristic destination in the recent years, but however, it is mainly seen as a historic town with rich cultural heritage, museums, and large number of sites of interest. However, we believe that there are few entertainment facilities in the town,- mentioned Grisha.

 

Surprise Revived

 

The kaleidoscope, just like the one we had as kids, but bigger in size will blow up your mind and you will have thousands of your images reflected in the world of mirrors. 

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Then you proceed to the next room, where the portrait of Mher Mkrtchyan, made from 300 smaller images of the sites of interest of Gyumri welcomes you with а big smile.  The next exhibit is Nikola Tesla’s plasma ball, filled with a mixture of various noble gases

Photo: Museum of Illusions

In and between the reality and illusion, the visitors get confused, doubt, show surprise and test again and again, touch the objects, as well as the pictures hanging motionless on the walls and those seemingly moving.    

Photo: Museum of Illusions

-  There are vast options to surprise people. The images will be updated regularly. We shall do our best to make the visitors wish to come back again and again, -says Mesrop.

Photo: Museum of Illusions

- We tried to combine various interests, so that the visitors could come with their families  making  the place attractive for granparents, parents, students. Visiting the world of illusions is not a luxury, we have various social programmes, special offers and discounts so that people should come for knowledge, emotions and interesting pictures, - says Grisha.

 

Museum can be reached at https://museumofillusions.am/.

 

Anahit Harutyunyan

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