interview Minas Lourian: A guru-like cross-cultural expert from Venice who makes it all happen! “To have great art, we must commission it! In order to commission it, we must have great commissioners!” If there is one person in the Armenian world who could be credited with turning Frank O'Hara’s famous words into action, it’s Minas Lourian, who serves as director of the Center for Studies and Documentation of Armenian Culture in Venice, Italy. Lourian was the catalyst behind Riccardo Muti’s recent “Roads of Friendship” concert in Armenia for the premiere of “Purgatory,” a commissioned piece by Tigran Mansurian. The maestro and his wife Cristina received the presidential Medal of Friendship, while Lourian was awarded with the Medal of Gratitude for their “significant role in the strengthening and promoting of cultural relationships between Armenia and Italy.” H-pem sat down for an exclusive Skype interview to get valuable insights from the unconventional cross-cultural executive who has a deep knowledge of the Armenian-Italian community and a whole raft of stunning achievements under his belt.