Mermaids of the Underground Yerevan

Image by Vahagn Vardumyan

Mermaids of the Underground – Or Soviet nudity

Meet the marble-blonde beauties of the Armenian underground. One holds a big plate of grapes and other fruits, the other holds a round bread & salt, both wearing nothing but long mermaid hair, and they’re obviously not shy. But, being created in the 80s, this subway artwork isn’t really within the aesthetic limits of its time, believe me.

How come? Was this a symbol of a happy communist paradise with naturist elements approved by telepathic politicians that could feel the end of Soviet 10 years in advance and wanted to open their minds up? Or maybe this was a late artistic response to the Soviet version of sexual revolution, from a safe distance of time?

According to different sources, this bas-relief symbolizes the Armenian-Russian friendship (Armenia is the left one with fruits, Russia is the right one with bread & salt), which is also connected to the name of the station “Barekamutyun” meaning friendship. The station was opened on March 7th 1981, and since then people started discussing the marble mermaids, partly because the author Ghukas Chubaryan wasn’t famous for nude sculptures, and people wanted to understand if this was a new tendency in modern art?

Apparently there was also a cafe somewhere in the central part of the station, which I don’t remember. Unofficial sources say that one of the main questions that construction workers debated for long, was “why the body of the Russian girl looks slightly better then the Armenian one?”. But, to be honest, I like the Armenian mermaid more.

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Details about this spot



Marshal Baghramyan Avenue 74, Yerevan

Telephone number


Opening Times

07:00 - 23:00 daily


Per ride: AMD 100


Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)