The Zakarian Khachkar has been dedicated as a vow and offering to the 1700th anniversary of Armenian Acceptance of Christianity as a state religion–by its benefactor Arthur Zakarian. The creation of this work of art is through the artistry and skill of sculptor Gaspar Gharibyan. An unveiling ceremony of the Zakarian Khachkar will take place Sunday–May 31–at the courtyard of the St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Glendale.
In 301 AD when Armenia accepted Christianity as its state religion–Armenia’s became the first Christian people in the world. Christianity provided spiritual–moral and intellectual strength and new ardor to confront the forthcoming centuries.
A khachkar is a monument reflecting Armenian medieval culture and has been traditionally erected in holy and public places for national and personal divine reasons and purposes. The art of sculpting khachkar–with ornamental relief style–achieved the peak of its progress in thirteenth century Armenia–and became internationally known–because of its uniqueness–by the Armenian word khachkar.
The symbolic structural composition of khachkar has the Cross as its foundation denoting the source of light and life.
The Zakarian Khachkar is also symbolic. The stone–brought from Armenia–symbolizes an Armenian in Diaspora. From the bosom of the rock–a door is ajar–as an emblem of hope and light. Above the door is Noah’s pigeon–which survived cataclysm and destruction. On the top of the khachkar–Mt. Ararat arises with grandeur.