Mikoyan Brothers Museum
The Mikoyan brothers are probably the most famous Soviet Armenians. Anastas Mikoyan was a revolutionary from the first hour who rose to the position of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. Artem Mikoyan was one of the most famous aircraft designers of the USSR responsible for designing many famous MiG aircraft together with Mikhail Gurevich. The Mikoyan brothers were born in Sanahin Armenia and a small Soviet era museum is dedicated to their lives.
Daily from 10.00 - 17:00
Sanahin is a small town in the Armenia Lori province, the famous Sanahin Monastery is included on the itinerary of most tourist who visit Armenia. The Mikoyan Brothers Museum is located very close to the museum so just spend an extra hour and see this interesting little museum. Sanahin is located on a hill above the Town of Alaverdi and can be reached by a cable car. Hangpat Monastery and Odzun church are also located in the same area, so the museum can be combined with many other interesting sights.
The Mikoyan Brothers Museum is dedicated to the live of the brothers Anastas and Artem Mikoyan who grew up in Sanahin. The state sponsored museum opened in the 1970 with gifts from the Mikoyan family. A monument was build with an early Mig-21. The museum also received the ZIM Limousine form Anastas Mikoyan. The museum is now run by one lady who took the job after her mother died. It is to be hoped that the Armenian government will support the museum and visitors will stop by a make some donations to the museum.
Anastas Mikoyan was born in 1895 and became a Bolshevik revolutionary in his early life. He was a strong Stalin supporter after Lenin’s death and held different important governmental posts including minister of Foreign Trade. He got an even more prominent role when Khrushchev came to power and was even considered the second most powerful figure of the Soviet union. Mikoyan played a key role in the negotiation between the USA and the USSR during the Cuban missile crisis, earning him international stature. Under Brezhnev he became Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, before he was forced to step down.
Artem Mikoyan was born in 1905 and had an early interest in engineering. After military service he joined the Air Force Academy where he build his first airplane. He became head made head of a new aircraft design bureau in 1939 together with Mikhail Gurevich. The Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau produced a series of MiG fighters that would serve in World War II. After the war Mikoyan-Gurevich started building jet fighters that were very successful. The most famous aircraft Mikoyan designed was the MiG-21 which became the most produced military aircraft in history.
An alley leads from the MiG-21 monument to the entrance of the small museum. Visitors enter the museum on the ground floor were various possessions of the Mikoyan family and a model of their house are displayed. Stairs lead to the upper floor where the main exposition is located. Display boxes include many unique historical photos documenting the life of the Mikoyan Brothers. Centrepiece is a large ship model that was built by Artem Mikoyan. Most descriptions are in English but the friendly guide is willing to give a full explanation with al the items.
The Mikoyan Brothers Museum may be small but many interesting exhibits are on display. Among the family possessions are a 1940 Soviet made gramophone player, and a model of the birth house of the brothers. Most interesting items of the main exposition are the many photos of the lives of the Mikoyan brothers. These images leave a good impression how life was for the upper echelon in the Soviet Union. There is also some interaction provided since visitors can take a photo with a leather aircraft helmet on their head. The museum hope to receive a Soviet Hero model from on e of the brothers one day, this would be the crown on the collection. There are some Lenin Order medals on display awarded to Anastas Mikoyan.
Outside the museum
Visiting the exposition is well worth some time when in Sanahin. People who do not have time still can make a short stop since some of the most interning things are on display outside the museum. Most important is the MiG-21 under a concrete roof looking over the Lori Mountains. There are also statues of Artem and Anastas Mikoyan on the Museum ground. The GAZ-12 ZIM limousine that served as company car for Anastas Mikoyan was recent donation to the museum and is protected by glass housing.